NEW DELHI: Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Tuesday accused the government of bypassing norms of the parliamentary democracy , saying that she is not going to apologise as she had only raised the issue on behalf of the people of the country in the House.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday had rejected the Opposition’s appeal for revocation of suspension of twelve MPs for unruly conduct on August 11, last day of the Monsoon session. Priyanka Chaturvedi is among the twelve parliamentarians.
Speaking to The New Indian at her home over the suspension of 12 MPs among whom she is included, Chaturvedi said, “How can it be called democratic when the opposition’s voices are being silenced? How is it democratic to pass bills without listening to the opposition?
“How democratic is it to deny the voices of a concern coming from the opposition benches? How is it democratic that you decide that someone is guilty, not taking into account what their version of the story is” she questioned.
She said that the government wants to do away with dissent.
But democracy is not about doing away with dissent, it is about thriving in dissent and coming to consensus and taking decisive calls. They have bypassed norms of parliamentary democracy
To a question about the Rajya Sabha chairman stating that the suspended MPs have not shown any remorse, the Shiv Sena leader said that she has huge respect for him not just because of the person he is, the way he conducts and his expectations from the members of the Upper House.
She said that Naidu comes with a background where he has sat in the government and in the opposition and has been a minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
“He (Naidu) comes with vast experience and I am certain that he will also agree that for what should the opposition be apologising for? What should Priyanka Chaturvedi apologise for when she was speaking on the behalf of the people of this country whether it is farmers issue, whether it is women’s issue, whether it is issues against atrocities, against the economic model policy that are damaging the nation’s growth story.”
Hitting out at the government, she said that in this particular case:
I categorically remember that it was decided in the business advisory committee that the Insurance Bill will not be tabled and will not be brought into Parliament on the last day of the Monsoon Session and thus the house will be adjourned then
“But they brought it without taking the Opposition into consideration so we all stood up and we protested against it that how can this be done? That bill was passed in two minutes instead of looking back into how they have been thwarting dissent.
She said that if the government bypasses rule 256 and also twists those rules to suit its narrative then I have nothing else to contribute.
“There is no apology coming for speaking for the people of the country,” she asserted.
Her remarks came after Naidu rejected the Opposition’s appeal for revocation of suspension of 12 MPs since they have not expressed remorse.
“Suspended MPs have not expressed remorse. I am not considering the appeal of Leader of Opposition (the Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge). Suspension will not be revoked,” Naidu said.
Even Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi said that to maintain the dignity of the House, the government was compulsorily forced to place this proposal of suspension before the House.
“But if these 12 MPs still apologise to the Speaker and the House for their misbehaviour, then the government is also ready to consider their proposal,” Joshi added.
To a question that Parliament passed the Bill to repeal the three farm laws on first day of session and then suspended 12 MPs despite several important Bills listed in this session, she said, “I would like to ask the sense of justice from the sense of equity from the sense of democracy, how ethical is it to dismiss the 12 MPs who would contribute to this discussion?”
She said that there are several important bills like bills on surrogacy, there are bills on art, there is bill on cryptocurrency, there is an ordinance that was being brought forward, there is narcotics.
“So there are so many important bills that need to be discussed and solution found. For you to silence us and not allow us to do an constitutionally bound duty, the oath I have taken as the member of parliament, to not allow me to do duty to that and be responsible to that, I think is deeply unfair,” she added.
On Monday, 12 MPs were suspended from the entire session of Parliament for “misbehaviour” on August 11, the last day of the previous session. Among the 12 MPs suspended — six are from Congress, two each from Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress and one each from CPI and CPI(M).
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