New Delhi: The Opposition led by the Congress boycotted the Rajya Sabha sitting on Tuesday, after Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu refused to revoke suspension of a dozen MPs, for ruckus on August 10 during the monsoon session, rejecting a fervent appeal by Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
(The 12 members have been suspended for the entire session.)
Trinamul Congress (TMC) did not join the walkout or boycott, though its leader Derek O'Brien also sought revocation of the suspension, which applies to two members of his party.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned till 2 PM with the Opposition members disrupting the question hour, after Congress, DMK, Shiv Sena and National Conference staged a walkout in protest against not allowing debate on Monday on the repeal of the 3 farm laws.
An anguished Naidu said he was upset at what he described as a "sacrilege" of Parliament, the temple of democracy, having spent a sleepless night because of protests in the House on Monday, the opening day of the session. He rejected Kharge's plea to revoke the suspensions, noting that none of the suspended MPs had showed any remorse.
The Opposition members walked out of the House after Naidu's ruling and decided in a meeting in Kharge's chamber to hold a token boycott of the House for a day. The Opposition members of both the Houses also protested in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue on Parliament premises.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, who had piloted a motion in the Rajya Sabha on Monday for suspending the 12 MPs, said the government has an open mind to rethink the suspensions if all of them apologise to the Chairman and the House for their misbehaviour. In a tweet, he said the government was "compelled to place this proposal of suspension before the House" to maintain the dignity of the House.
Sixteen parties, including AAP, for the first time, attended the meeting that decided to boycott the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Besides the Congress, the other parties which attended the meeting were DMK, Shiv Sena, NCP, CPI, CPM, RJD, IUML, MDMK, LJD, NC, RSP, TRS, Kerala Cong and VCK.
In the Lok Sabha, the Congress and the Shiv Sena had given adjournment notices on the rising prices of essential commodities and the fuel price hike.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi held a meeting with the senior ministers on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing winter session strategy.
Those who attended include Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar.