NEW DELHI: Upping the ante against the government over the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs for the entire session of Parliament, opposition MPs took out a protest march from Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament to Vijay Chowk on Tuesday.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi described it as the crushing of the voice of the opposition and “unfortunate killing of democracy”, saying that whenever the opposition tries to raise the issue of national importance they are not allowed to do so.
Speaking to media at Vijay Chowk, Rahul Gandhi, who is Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said, “We have here our suspended members. This is the symbol of the democracy of this country. This is the symbol of the crushing of the voice of the people of India.”
The Prime Minister does not come to the House.
Any time we want to raise an issue of national importance, we are not allowed to do so.
This is a very unfortunate killing of our democracy.
— Congress (@INCIndia) December 14, 2021
Hitting out at the government, the Congress leader said, “They (12 Rajya Sabha MPs) have been suspended for now two weeks. They are sitting outside. Their voice has been crushed, they have done nothing wrong.”
“We are not allowed to discuss important issues in Parliament, we are not allowed to debate in Parliament. Bill after Bill after Bill after is being passed in the din. This is not the way to run Parliament,” he said.
Questioning the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament’s Winter Session, Rahul Gandhi said, “The Prime Minister does not come to the House and anytime we want to raise an issue of national importance we are just not allowed to do so.”
“It is unfortunate killing of democracy taking place,” the Congress leader added.
The 12 Opposition MPs were suspended for the entire session of Parliament on November 29. Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the opposition MPs have not shown remorse for their misconduct.
To a question that the Uttar Pradesh SIT probing the October 3 mowing of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, Rahul Gandhi said, “One minister planned to kill farmers. The Prime Minister knows that and that minister is with his team.”
“We came here (Vijay Chowk) and we told them to have a discussion. Everyone knows the truth. The truth is that against the farmers three to four corporates are standing. Narendra Modiji is on the front,” he alleged.
The Congress leader said that the 12 MPs have not been suspended from the House by the Prime Minister or the Chairman of the Uper Hpouse but by those who want to steal the income of farmers.
“There is a power behind everyone. Similarly power of corporates is behind him. He is only a mask,” he alleged.
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister’s bath in river Ganga in Varanasi on Monday, he said, “If anyone takes a holy dip in Ganga that will not be shown on the television but when the Prime Minister does, it is shown the entire day.”
When pressed further if the Congress will raise the isue of Lakhimpur Kheri in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi said, “We will raise the issue of Lakhimpur in Parliament but ‘Hum do, hamare do’ will not allow us to raise that. Four people won’t allow us to raise the issue. There won’t be discussion on Lakhimpur, China, farmers. And now this building, Parliament is a museum.”
He asked, “When farmers were mowed by their jeep, which power was behind them, who gave them freedom to crush the farmers and which power kept them out of the jail?”
His remarks came after Vidhyaram Diwakar, the SIT investigating officer, filed the application last week in the CJM’s court for adding new sections in the warrant, replacing sections 279, 338 and 304A of the IPC.
In his application, the SIT officer pointed out that the incident was “well-planned” and a deliberate act, and not of negligence or callousness.
The investigating officer has requested to add Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 326 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code after replacing sections 279 (Rash driving or riding on a public way), 338 (Whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently) and 304A (Causing death by negligence) of the IPC.