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Opposition parties boycott Rajya Sabha proceedings

New Delhi : The entire Opposition excluding Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress party (YSRCP) on Wednesday boycotted the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha over the suspension of 12 MPs.

The joint Opposition including Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Trinamool Congress, Left, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) did not join the Question Hour of the session when the House reassembled after its first adjournment till noon. Only TDP and YSRCP members were sitting in the House.

Trinamool Congress MPs Nadimul Haque and Sushmita Dev joined the House for a moment but they only kept requesting the Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh to revoke the suspension of the MPs.

As Deputy Chairman did not consider their request and started Question Hour, they also boycotted the House after staging their protest for a few minutes.

The Opposition’s move comes after the Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow their demands regarding revocation of suspension when the Upper House met at 11 am and it led to the ruckus created by Opposition members and subsequently adjournment till noon.

Earlier, the Opposition had warned of boycotting the proceedings from the House if the suspension of 12 MPs is not revoked.

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge had raised the issue requesting Rajya Sabha Chairman to revoke the suspension and “call all suspended MPs back in the House”.

VP Naidu rejected his points and asked him to sit and let the House conduct Zero Hour.

“Everyday, you raise the same issue. You are compounding the offence. You (Opposition) are not letting the House function for the last 10 days. You cannot force me,” VP Naidu said. The Chairman then started Zero Hour.

The ruckus continued and several MPs started sloganeering “dictatorship will not go on in the democracy”, “revoke suspension of MPs”. They also showed placards that read “Suspend Us”.

Amid the din, the Chairman again tried to persuade the Opposition leaders to go back to their seats and let the House function.

“Minimum Support Price (MSP), farmers, COVID-19 are among many issued being raised in Zero Hour but you are not interested to discuss those issues. You are only creating disturbance,” VP Naidu said.

As the din continued during Zero Hour, the Chairman announced to adjourn the House till 12 noon.