On Congress' 'Muzzling Voices' Charge, BJP Has A 'Queen Or Yuvaraj' Counter

Congress has said that the BJP is not allowing it to protest against the misuse of probe agencies for "harassing" its top leadership and workers are arrested if they try to.

By Talibuddin Khan
Wed, 27 Jul 2022 04:28 PM IST
Minute Read
On Congress' 'Muzzling Voices' Charge, BJP Has A 'Queen Or Yuvaraj' Counter
Suspended MPs stage a demonstration in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue at Parliament. (ANI Photo)

The Congress and the BJP are again at loggerheads and this time over a number of issues including the suspension of 24 opposition MPs from both houses of the Parliament and the alleged misuse of central agencies against the leaders of the opposition parties. Other opposition parties have also echoed the sentiments of Congress and claimed that their democratic rights are being undermined by the Centre by suppressing their voices through suspensions and misuse of federal agencies including the CBI and ED.

The fresh uproar was triggered after Lok Sabha Speaker suspended four Congress MPs for the entire Monsoon Session on Monday over unruly behaviour inside the House. A day later, 19 more opposition leaders were suspended from the Rajya Sabha for similar reasons. Seven of the suspended members belong to TMC, six MPs are from DMK, three TRS, two CPM and one CPI. Today, AAP MP Sanjay Singh was also suspended from the upper house of the Parliament for disrupting the House proceedings.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge also wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu raising concern over the unlawful suspension of opposition leaders. Kharge, in his letter, requested that under the proviso to Rule 256(2) a motion may be made resolving that the suspension of the aforementioned 19 members be terminated.

"On 26 July 2022, 19 members of Rajya Sabha belonging to various Opposition parties have been suspended on a motion being moved and adopted by the House under Rule 256 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Council of States (Rajya Sabha) for the remainder of this week, i.e. till 30 July 2022. I request that under the provisions to Rule 256(2) a motion may be made resolving that the suspension of the aforementioned 19 members be terminated," Kharge said in a letter.

Apart from the suspension of MPs, Congress has also been accusing the BJP of muzzling the voices of the opposition leaders using the central agencies. The Congress' accusation came in the backdrop of party chief Sonia Gandhi's questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its probe into the alleged National Herald newspaper case.

Congress has said that the BJP is not allowing it to protest against the misuse of probe agencies for "harassing" its top leadership and workers are arrested if they try to. The grand old party said that its headquarter has turned into a police post and its workers are not even allowed to protest there. Several Congress workers including Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh were detained in the last two days for protesting against the questioning of Sonia Gandhi. Similar scenes were witnessed today, day 3 of her questioning.

However, BJP seems adamant and refuted all allegations by the opposition leaders. Reacting to the allegations, BJP Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday said that Congress considers itself above the law and wants to disrupt the investigations by these protests.

"Nobody is above democracy and the law. Be it the Queen or Yuvaraj. The Congress party considers itself above the judiciary and the law. Why do they want to escape from the investigation? Let the investigation be completed. Only then the truth will come out," Pralhad Joshi said.

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, meanwhile, said that Congress does not have any agenda and raising bogus issues to disrupt the proceedings of the Parliament. "When the opposition does not have any agenda in their hands, they try to raise certain issues in Parliament to create disruptions and disturbances. These are bogus issues", Rijiju said.

Opposition MPs in Rajya Sabha have been demanding an urgent discussion on issues like price rise and goods and services tax, or GST, hike for the past many days, leading to disruptions in the house. They have stalled the proceedings in both houses ever since the start of the monsoon session on July 18.

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