Suspension of Opposition MPs an ‘act of revenge’: Congress MP

Lawmakers punished for raising voice against farm laws, says Syed Nasir Hussain

The suspension of the 12 Rajya Sabha MPs was an act of revenge by the government for raising a voice against the three farm laws, Congress MP Syed Nasir Hussain said on Monday, the 13th day of the Opposition protest against what they call the “illegal” suspension.

Four of the 12 MPs — CPI(M)’s Elamaram Kareem, TMC’s Dola Sen and Congress’s Ripun Bora and Mr Hussain — were also suspended in September 2020, when the three farm laws were cleared in Rajya Sabha amidst vociferous protest from the Opposition.

At the start of the winter session, the 12 MPs were suspended for their alleged misconduct in the monsoon session during the passage of the General Insurance Act. The Opposition lawmakers and the Parliamentary security officers had a physical tussle, when their demand to send the Bill to a parliamentary select committee was ignored and it was passed amidst a din.

‘Created awareness’

“I think the government wanted to take revenge. Had the Opposition not raised its voice last year, the country would not have known the real intent of the government. After our suspension, the three bills became a matter of debate both nationally and internationally,” Mr. Hussain told The Hindu. The farm organisations’ sit-protest at the border of Delhi also began a month later in November.

Mr. Hussain said the repeal of the three laws, was a huge climbdown for the government, especially when the Prime Minister and his entire cabinet kept saying that there is no going back. “It is only obvious that the government wanted to punish us for providing the spark against the black laws,” the Congress leader said.

The suspension, he said, is deliberate. “Our suspension was also an attempt to reduce our numbers within the House, giving the government more elbow room,” Mr. Hussain said.

Mr. Hussain said the Opposition has been sincere in its attempt to allow the House function.

“Every day, we move at least a dozen notices under Rule 267 to debate the issues that concern each one of us, be it the price rise that we are all reeling under, the Pegasus spyware where the Opposition was specifically targeted, the year long farm agitation that claimed 750 lives. The has government blocked each of these debates. They only want to pass the bills without any debate, discussion or evaluation,” Mr. Hussain said.

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