Suspension of our MPs is anti-democratic: Sonia

Rajat Kain

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New Delhi: Congress members led by party President Sonia Gandhi at the Gandhi statue during a protest against suspension of 25 party members, at parliament in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo – PTI

Congress party held a strong protest at Gandhi statue in the Parliament premises against the suspension of 25 Lok Sabha MPs by the Speaker on Monday. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and party vice president Rahul Gandhi led the protest along with members from both the houses. All the members were sporting black arm bands.

The principal opposition party will now be boycotting the Parliament session for next five days. Host of other Opposition parties including the strong 34-member Trinamool Congress, Left front, JD (U) among others too have announced to boycott the proceedings to express their solidarity with the Congress party.

“The way they have suspended our MPs is anti-democratic and it is a murder of our democracy,” asserted Congress President Sonia Gandhi strongly before the press on Tuesday.

“I think Vyapam scam had destroyed the future of thousands and thousands of young people in Madhya Pradesh. There is clear evidence that Sushma Swaraj ji has broken the law. There is clear evidence that Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje is involved in the financial dealing with Lalit Modi,” Rahul Gandhi said attacking the BJP-led Union government at the protest.

The Congress vice president also took on PM Narendra Modi over the issue of suspension saying, “Mann ki baat karne ki unki aadat hai. Hindustan ki mann ki baat sun le ek baar (the PM talks of Mann of Baat. He must now listen to what the nation is saying)”.

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New Delhi: Congress MPs (from left) Rajeeta Ranjan, Susmita Deb, Deependra Hooda and Rajeev Satav who were suspended for five days from the Lok Sabha at Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday. Photo – PTI

Earlier on Monday, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 Congress members in the lower house for their prolonged protest on the floor of the house over the issue of Lalit Modi controversy and ‘Vyapam’ scam.

Reasoning that the Congress members were “persistently, wilfully obstructing the House”, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, first named 25 Congress members who were carrying placards and shouting slogans in the Well and then passed the ruling under the Rule 374 (A) suspending the MPs for five days.

Reacting strongly to the Speaker’s decision, AICC chief Sonia Gandhi had termed it a “a Black Day for democracy.”

Several other Congress senior leaders and other Opposition members too reacted to the suspension.

“Like in Gujarat the opposition members used to get suspended, similar thing is happening here. It is the Gujarat model which is being implemented,” party’s Leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told the press on Monday.

“For the greater interest of Parliamentary democracy, we are opposed to suspension of 25 Lok Sabha MPs. We are not attending Lok Sabha from tomorrow,” senior TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said in a statement throwing the party’s weight behind the Congress’ protest.