On Monday (18 December), Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, penned a letter to Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, urging him to lift the suspension of Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien.
Kharge stated that the TMC leader was merely requesting a statement from the Home Minister in Parliament over the security breach issue.
“All he (O’ Brien) was trying to do was to attract your attention so as to raise the collective demand of INDIA parties for a statement by the Minister of Home Affairs on the shocking incident that took place in Lok Sabha on December 13,” the Congress leader said.
He stated that the silence of the Home Minister on the matter violates parliamentary traditions and conventions.
“These are perfectly legitimate demands. It is a breach of Parliamentary traditions and conventions that the Minister of Home Affairs can speak about the events of December 13 at a media function but refuses to say anything about in form of a statement in Parliament when the Parliament itself is in session,” he said.
O'Brien was suspended from the Rajya Sabha on 14 December, while 13 MPs were suspended from the Lok Sabha for the rest of the session for disrupting the House proceedings while protesting against the Parliament security breach incident.
In a major security breach on the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament terror attack last Wednesday, two men — Sagar Sharma and Manoranjan D — jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery during the Zero Hour, released coloured smoke and shouted slogans, before being overpowered by the MPs.
Two others, including a woman, were detained outside the Parliament complex for staging a protest.
On Sunday, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, appealed to the Speaker to lift the suspension of 13 opposition members. However, Speaker Om Birla stated that the MPs' suspension was unrelated to the incident on 13 December.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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