The TMC hit out at the government on Wednesday after the suspension of the party’s six MPs for unruly conduct in Rajya Sabha, alleging that it was trying to divide the Opposition by allowing discussion on farm laws while ignoring the demand on Pegasus snooping issue.
It asserted that the Opposition stands united in its efforts to corner the government over the spyware issue.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu suspended six TMC MPs for the day for carrying placards while protesting along with other opposition MPs over the Pegasus spying issue.
While he did not name the MPs, a Parliament bulletin identified the six MPs suspended for the day as Dola Sen, Md. Nadimul Haque, Abir Ranjan Biswas, Shanta Chhetri, Arpita Ghosh and Mausam Noor.
At the same time, notices on a discussion on the farmers’ issue by Samajwadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav, CPI(M)’s Elamaram Kareem and AAP’s Sushil Gupta’s were admitted in Rajya Sabha.
Sources indicate that soon after the MPs were suspended, the opposition leaders met at Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s office in Parliament.
In the meeting that lasted for a little over half an hour, the parties decided to stick to their stand on the demands made by them in both the Houses on Pegasus, farm laws and other issues.
The meeting was attended by senior leaders like NCP’s Sharad Pawar, Congress leaders like Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Jairam Ramesh, DMK’s TR Balu and Tiruchi Siva, and TMC’s Derek O’Brien and Kalyan Banerjee.
“None of us will change our stand and we will stick to the issues we have decided to raise,” a source quoted Mr Pawar as saying in the meeting while TR Balu noted that “all of us are in agreement.”
DMK’s Siva and RJD’s Manoj Jha said that all opposition MPs were united and the government “could try and suspend them all”, according to the sources.
“The crackdown on our MPs clearly indicates that BJP4’s 56-inch godfather has conceded defeat! You can suspend us but you cannot silence us! We will not budge an inch to fight for our people and to fight for the truth. Until the last drop of our blood – Bring it on!” tweeted TMC MP and the party’s National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee.
In the meeting, it was decided that all opposition party members present would protest in the Well of the House.
“Desperate BJP trying to divide opposition in #Parliament Good try. But you FAILED (sic),” said Derek O’Brien in a tweet.
Opposition parties have demanded discussions on repealing farm laws, price rise, jobs, inflation, economy. They have also sought a discussion Pegasus in both the Houses in the presence of the prime minister and the home minister.
An Opposition party leader said that they will raise these issues while participating in debates on bills tabled in Parliament for consideration and passage.
“While debates on bills are hardly happening, we will use whatever opportunity we get to highlight these issues till we get cut off,” the leader said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)