Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Sunday (17 December) penned a letter to Speaker Om Birla, urging him to revoke the suspension of 13 Opposition MPs who were involved in protests over the security breach in Parliament last week.
“Since the seriousness of the matter lies in this fact, which relates to our own security, Members of the Opposition are duty-bound to demand an explanation from the Government and expect corrective measures to be taken urgently. The sensitivity of the matter and issues involved may have led to ‘heated situations’, and as the custodian of the ‘dignity and decorum’ of the House you are bound to take remedial action when matters perceivably go out of the way in enabling the House to function smoothly,” Chowdhury wrote, Indian Express reported.
“However, considering the fact that the Members who have been suspended on account of ‘unruly conduct’ were pressing for an explanation from the Government on very troubling issues, to me, it appears to be appropriate to hear them on their concerns and points of view. Considering the factors that led to the suspension of 13 members in the recent days, I would urge that the matter be re-looked into holistically and appropriate action taken for revoking the suspension and restoring order in the House,” he wrote.
The letter came a day after the Speaker wrote to all MPs, urging them to give primacy to the dignity and decorum of the House.
Proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were halted on Thursday and Friday by opposition MPs, who demanded a statement from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, as well as a discussion on the security breach. They also called for the presence of PM Narendra Modi in the House and action against BJP MP Pratap Simha, who facilitated passes for the two individuals who leapt from the visitors' gallery in Lok Sabha and burst gas canisters.
On the security breach, Chowdhury said in his letter that the nature of this incident was distinct from the terror attack on Parliament House that took place on 13 December 2001.
“Yet, the incident of 13th December, 2023, has also brought to the fore issues relating to the security of the Institutions which are the core of our democratic practices and ethos,” Chowdhury wrote.
“It is primarily on account of factors such as these that following the attack on Parliament House on 13th December, 2001, the then Home Minister, Shri Lal Krishna Advani made a detailed statement on the incident in the House… . In the present instance too, it is but appropriate for the Home Minister to make a statement in the House on the incident," he added.
He proposed a reassessment of the protocols for admitting visitors into Parliament.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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