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Parliament logjam: ‘Conspiracy to divide’, says Kharge as Centre invites 4 Opposition parties to end stalemate


Image Source : PTI

Suspended Rajya Sabha MPs during a protest demanding for revocation of their suspension at Parliament in New Delhi.

The Centre has invited floor leaders of four Opposition parties whose members were suspended from Rajya Sabha, for a meeting on Monday. Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi has written to leaders of Congress, TMC, CPI(M), CPI and Shiv Sena. Twelve MPs of these parties were suspended from Rajya Sabha for the remainder of the Winter Session. 

According to reports, Joshi even called the floor leaders over the phone. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut confirmed receiving a phone call from Joshi. 

“Pralhad Joshi called me for a meeting with leaders of four political parties – Congress, TMC, CPI(M) and CPI whose Rajya Sabha MPs are suspended, tomorrow (Monday) at 10 am in Parliament Library Building,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

Reacting to the government’s decision to invite the leaders of four parties, Congress MP and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, said, “The government has called for a meeting of 4 Opposition parties on the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs. This is a conspiracy to divide the Opposition. All Opposition parties are united on this issue. We have written to the government to call an all-party meeting.”

Kharge separately called a meeting of the floor leaders of “like-minded” parties in Parliament today. The meeting took place at his chamber. 

The Trinamool Congress too has reacted sharply. Its Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien tweeted: “Monday morning STUNT from a Govt. who do not want Parliament to function. Govt calls leaders of the 4 Oppn parties whose 12 RS MPs have been arbitrarily suspended. Govt leaves other 10 Opposition parties out. Failed stunt. ALL OPPN clear : first revoke arbitrary suspension.”

The Opposition has been disrupting the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha for the last many days. There has been a stalemate in the Upper House over the issue of suspension of 12 MPs and the functioning of the House has been affected due to the protests by the opposition members seeking revocation of their suspension.

The Opposition is demanding that the suspension of MPs be revoked as the action is undemocratic and against the rules, while the government wants them to apologise for their behaviour first, saying they were open to revoking their suspensions. Twelve MPs of various opposition parties in Rajya Sabha were suspended on the first day of the winter session over their unruly behaviour on the last day of the Monsoon session on August 11.

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