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Maharashtra: Political crisis reverberates in Parliament

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2019

Opposition protests over the political developments in Maharashtra paralysed both Houses of Parliament on Monday. The disruptions are likely to continue on Tuesday too as the Opposition parties have decided to boycott President Ramnath Kovind’s address scheduled to held at the Central Hall of Parliament to mark the Constitution Day on Tuesday.

Speaker Om Birla had instructed marshals of the House to remove two protesting Congress MPs — Hibi Eden and TN Prathapan— but it strengthened the Opposition’s moves inside the House. Amid reports that a five-year suspension may be imposed on the two MPs from Kerala, Birla said their behaviour was unacceptable. The Congress said it will continue to protest against the “murder of democracy” in Maharashtra.

“President Kovind is supposed to protect and uphold the Constitution of the country. But he became a tool in the hands of the BJP. So we cannot sit at a programme where he is speaking on the Constitution. We will protest in front of the Ambedkar statue in Parliament House, against this Government,” senior Congress MP Kodikkunnil Suresh said.

Speaker concerned

Birla told reporters that he is hurt by whatever happened in Parliament. “Such behaviour is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. I never want to adjourn the House, I always tried my best that the House should function by taking everyone on board,” he said. In the Rajya Sabha too, the Opposition demanded a discussion on Maharashtra Governor’s action after suspending all other business. But Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said the discussion on imposition of President’s rule or revoking it can be discussed only when a motion to that effect is brought. “In the instant case of Maharashtra, the proclamation in question is still to be laid on the table of the House. However, as per media reports, the issuance of the proclamation is challenged in the Supreme Court and as such the matter becomes sub judice. So it is clear,” added Deputy Chairman Harivansh said.

MPs evicted

In Lok Sabha, the first question was listed against former Congress president Rahul Gandhi. But the Wayanad MP said there is no point in asking the question. “There is no point in me asking the question as democracy has been murdered in Maharashtra,” he said amid a din. Eden and Prathapan were holding a banner and Birla asked marshals to remove them. Later, Congress MPs S Jothimani and Ramya Haridas said they were manhandled by the marshals. “We have lodged a complaint with the Hon’ble Speaker about what happened in the Parliament. We requested him to ensure our dignity and safety and the fundamental rights to protest and take action against the people who pushed us and manhandled us,” Jothimani said.

Citing the reports that several cases related to irrigation scam have been dropped, Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said contract killing of democracy by the BJP has now also become contract killing of honesty and accountability.

“The promise was to give a clean Government, but, now corruption cases are being used as a bargaining tool to carry on with an illegitimate Devendra Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar- BJP Government.

Prior to the election, BJP promised that Ajit Pawar would be sent to Arthur Road Jail in the so called irrigation scam, but now they have send him to Mantralaya as Deputy Chief Minister and the only public interest decision taken in last 48 hours, is to close down the irrigation scam and all corruption cases by the Anti Corruption Bureau,” he said.

Published on November 25, 2019

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