The eight members — distributed among the Congress, CPM, Trinamool Congress and the AAP — were suspended earlier in the day for the remainder of the Monsoon Session over their “unruly behaviour” during the passage of farm Bills in the Upper House of Parliament.
Parliament monsoon session: Latest updates
Carrying pillows and blankets at the protest site, the MPs said “we will not budge”.
“Suspension won’t silence us. We will stand with farmers in their fight. The (Rajya Sabha) Deputy chairman throttled parliamentary procedures yesterday,” said CPM MP Elamaram Kareem, who is among those suspended.
“Suspension of MPs exposed the coward face of the BJP. People will see through the attempt to divert attention from their undemocratic actions,” he said.
The government Monday moved a motion seeking the suspension of Derek O’Brien (TMC), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Rajeev Satav (Congress), K K Ragesh (CPM), Syed Nazir Hussain (Congress), Ripun Boren (Congress), Dola Sen (TMC) and Elamaram Kareem (CPM).
The motion was adopted by voice vote amid protests.
Opposition parties like the Congress, CPM, Shiv Sena, JDS, TMC, CPI, and the Samajwadi Party are in the protest on the Parliament premises carrying placards with messages such as “Murder of Democracy”, “Death of Parliament” and “Shame, shame”.
Said AAP MP Sanjay Singh, “Wake up crores of farmers of the country! The BJP government has mortgaged your life to Adani-Ambani, wake up and oppose this black law. We are on an agitation in Parliament, you should agitate outside. The BJP government has passed a black law against farmers. We were terminated for opposing the bill.”
“That is why we are sitting on a dharna and will keep sitting till the BJP government explains why this black law was passed by strangling democracy,” he added.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted in their support.
“Suspension of the 8 MPs who fought to protect farmers’ interests is unfortunate and reflective of this autocratic Govt’s mindset that doesn’t respect democratic norms & principles. We won’t bow down & we’ll fight this fascist Govt in Parliament & on the streets,” she said.
Suspension of the 8 MPs who fought to protect farmers interests is unfortunate & reflective of this autocratic Govt… https://t.co/6LLbO2EzVr
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) 1600666955000
The MPs have carried pillows and blankets, and pedestal fans were kept on to help them fight the scorching heat. Many of the MPs were seen eating fruits.
“This is going to be an indefinite dharna. We will not budge,” an MP said.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury too slammed the government and termed the process of passing these bills a “violation of parliamentary democracy”.
“This violation of all parliamentary procedures and denying MPs the right to discuss and opine on the legislation is undermining the basic fabric of Indian parliamentary democracy. The Modi government will not be allowed to wreck the Parliament.
“These new laws are illegitimate, illegal and the President of India must send back these legislations to the Rajya Sabha for reconsideration under Article 111 of the Indian Constitution,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee also spoke to the eight suspended MPs and lauded their efforts towards “upholding the values of Parliament”.
“The WB CM spoke to the MPs for 10 minutes and in her conversation with them appreciated their efforts in fighting against the farmer Bills, labour bills and upholding the values of Parliament,” a Trinamool Congress leader said.
Banerjee, who in the morning condemned the government for its action in a tweet, also released an audio clip in which she came down hard on the BJP, alleging the party is making an all out effort to make states powerless and itself all powerful.