Leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc staged a protest under the banner ‘Save Democracy’, at Jantar Mantar here on Friday.
Senior opposition leaders, including Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar, Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, and others, shared the dais to protest against the recent suspension of 146 opposition MPs from Parliament’s Winter Session, which was adjourned sine die on Thursday.
NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar said the opposition was ready to pay any price to save the democracy.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, participating in the protest, said that the protest is send a message among people that whatever is happening is ‘wrong for the future of the country’.
“In the history of democracy in the world, 146 MPs have never been suspended… People should know that the democracy is in danger. The protest is to tell the people that whatever is happening is wrong for the future of the country… There is only one solution, people should change this government and bring the INDIA Alliance into power,” Mr Tharoor told ANI.
Congress MP Karti Chidambaram said, “It was only natural on the part of the opposition to ask for a statement by the home minister… But the government was adamant in not heeding our request. So there were protests within the Parliament. The reaction of the government was to suspend 146 members of the opposition and ram through laws, which have far-reaching consequences on the daily life of people in India… The government wants to have a parliament which would only be a stamping house for all their laws without any discussion… So they want the Parliament to just be like in China or in North Korea… This is a betrayal of the faith people have in the parliamentary system. We want to highlight this and tell them what is happening in parliament is not good for India…”
Congress MP Manish Tewari said, “To save democracy in the country, all nationalist organisations need to come together and send a message in one voice…”
The Members of Parliament, suspended from the Parliament’s Winter Session, were also present at the protest.
Also, a nationwide protest has also been scheduled at all district headquarters by the Congress party today.
A total of 146 MPs — 100 from Lok Sabha and 46 from Rajya Sabha — were suspended for creating a ruckus and disrupting proceedings in both Houses, while they were demanding a statement from Union Minister Amit Shah about the Parliament security breach incident.
Earlier on Thursday, after the conclusion of the 262nd Session of the Rajya Sabha, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar said that he is pained to state that nearly 22 hours of the Upper House were lost due to avoidable disruptions.
“I am pained to state that nearly 22 hours were lost due to avoidable disruptions adversely impacting our overall productivity that finally stood at 79 percent. Weaponizing disruptions and disturbance as a political strategy doesn’t resonate with our constitutional obligation of keeping the interest of people at large above any other political considerations,” the Rajya Sabha Chairman said.
Earlier on Thursday, while the proceedings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were underway, the suspended MPs took out a march from the Parliament building to Vijay Chowk to protest against the bulk suspension of opposition lawmakers.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)