Even after staying in power for an exponentially huge portion of independent and democratic India, the Congress parties along with their left brethren have not learned how to conduct themselves with grace. The opposition which regularly suspends BJP MLAs in their own state can’t take it when their own members are suspended with impunity.
Vice President won’t revoke the suspension of 12 hooligan MPs:
Vice President (VC) and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu has unequivocally and categorically denied any chances of him rethinking the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members during the winter session of the parliament. Commenting on the opposition’s request to revoke the suspension of the unruly members of Rajya Sabha, VC said, “The members who had committed the sacrilege against the house have not shown remorse. So, I think the appeal by the Opposition [to revoke the suspensions] is not worth considering,”
The stoic Vice president was quick to decry any chances of blaming him for the suspension of the Members of the Parliament (MPs). He clearly stated that it was not a unilateral action on his part and the whole of the upper house (Rajya Sabha) moved the motion of suspension against misbehaving members. “What happened yesterday was not the Chairman taking action, it was the House. A motion was moved. It was approved and it is final,” he said.
Parliamentary affairs minister had requested to suspend the MPs:
Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had written to the Shri Naidu about the absurd and unparliamentarily behaviour by Rajya Sabha MPs during the monsoon session of the parliament. Requesting the suspension of these members he had termed the Monsoon session of the parliament as a “reprehensible and shameful session in the history of our Parliamentary democracy”.
The honourable Vice President however gave a lot of forethought before passing the suspension order. He exclaimed that passing the suspension order was his last resort since he expected the leading senior members of the house to take charge in condemning the incidents during the Monsoon session. Such assurance would have helped me to appropriately handle the matter. But unfortunately, it will not be [the case],” he said.
The opposition has itself resorted to suspension in the past:
The opposition’s uproar over the drama is baffling. Claiming unfairness over a constitutional post like Rajya Sabha chairman just cries of political partisanship on the part of the opposition. Probably, it stems from the fact that they themselves have resorted to unfair suspension of BJP and other opposition MLAs in various states.
- In June 2013, the Andhra Pradesh assembly suspended 22 opposition MLAs. 18 of them were associated with TRS while 3 belonged to the BJP and one independent MLA was providing outside support to the BJP.
- In July this year, 12 members of the BJP were suspended in the Maharashtra assembly for one year. These members were alleged to have ‘misbehaved’ with the presiding officer.
- In September 2021, 13 members of the opposition TDP were suspended from the Andhra Assembly for their protests against the high-handedness of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s
- Four days ago, Kejriwal led Delhi assembly suspended BJP MLA Jitender Mahajan also marshalled out BJP legislators Anil Bajpai and Mohan Singh Bisht for allegedly disrupting the proceedings of the House.
Suspension is a democratic process:
From the above incidents, it is clear that the suspension of unruly members from the legislative bodies is a normal practice, and no party can be unilaterally blamed for the suspension of members from another party. Just like questioning and answering, suspension is also a part of democratic machinery to make sure that the decorum of the house is maintained, and people’s voices are heard.
Though looks harsh, the suspension has come off at a right time in the history of the democratic polity of India. The opposition had made it a habit to stop parliamentary proceedings in order to garner some political points. Though adjournment is meant for an exception, an erudite body like Rajya Sabha had to retort to repeated adjournments, which is shameful for a house that was established to correct extra-parliamentary behaviour by Lok Sabha MPs.
The essence of the democratic political system is equal treatment of everyone. If someone resorts to unruly behaviour, they need to pay for that. Crying unfairness over a constitutionally valid decision is not a good precedent to set for any opposition party.