Ruling Party "Weaponising" Suspensions, Says Kharge to Dhankhar

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Ruling Party “Weaponising” Suspensions, Says Kharge to Dhankhar

| Updated: December 25, 2023 16:09

Ruling Party "Weaponising" Suspensions

New Delhi: In a scathing letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge has accused the ruling party of “weaponising” the suspension of MPs as a tool to silence dissent and “throttle the Constitution.” This comes in response to Dhankhar’s earlier letter defending the recent mass suspension of Opposition MPs.

Kharge lambasted the government for its “autocratic and arrogant attitude towards Parliament,” claiming the suspension of 146 MPs is a deliberate attempt to undermine democratic principles and sabotage parliamentary practices. He argues that these suspensions effectively “silence the voice of the voters” whom these MPs represent.

Furthermore, Kharge refutes Dhankhar’s assertion that the disruptions in Parliament were “premeditated” by the Opposition, instead accusing the government of a “predetermined and premeditated” plan to silence dissent through mass suspensions. He highlights an instance where an MP from a non-Opposition party was mistakenly suspended, further underscoring the alleged lack of due process.

Kharge also questions Dhankhar’s handling of the security breach incident on December 14, which triggered the suspension spree. He criticizes the Chair for condoning the government’s refusal to make a statement on the floor of the House and subsequently allowing Home Minister Amit Shah to speak first to a TV channel instead of Parliament. This, he argues, undermines the “temple of democracy.”

Kharge further alleges that a Union Minister threatened to suspend most Opposition MPs before the Home Minister even arrived in the Rajya Sabha. He questions Dhankhar’s silence on this matter, stressing that such threats “grossly undermine the Chair’s authority.”

In conclusion, Kharge urges the Chairman to uphold his role as the custodian of the House and protect the people’s right to hold their government accountable. He criticizes Dhankhar for condoning the government’s escape from accountability on crucial issues like border incursions and internal unrest. He emphasizes that history will judge presiding officers harshly for allowing bills to pass without proper debate and failing to hold the government accountable.

While agreeing on the need to move forward, Kharge doubts the effectiveness of discussions in Dhankhar’s chambers if the government remains uncooperative in running the House. He reiterates his willingness to meet the Chairman upon his return to Delhi, emphasizing his duty to advocate for the Opposition and uphold parliamentary principles.

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