Several opposition parties boycott Lok Sabha proceedings

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Several opposition parties on Tuesday boycotted the Lok Sabha proceedings to protest against the speaker’s decision to suspend 25 Congress parliamentarians for disrupting parliament.

The parties that boycotted the proceedings included the Communist Party of India, CPI-Marxist, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Janata Dal (United), Indian Union Muslim League, Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress and the Samajwadi Party.

Members of the SP, RJD and the Left were present in the house on Tuesday morning, but staged a walkout after the speaker did not allow them to raise the issue of suspension of the Congress MPs.

Even the parties who attended the day’s proceedings protested against the speaker’s move.

On Monday, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 Congress parliamentarians for five days for “willfully obstructing the business of the house” and not heeding her repeated warnings to observe the rules of the house.

BJD’s Tathagata Satpathy raised the matter during zero hour, at the end of his speech on the flood situation in parts of Odisha.

Satpathy said that since many opposition members were not in the house, official business like passage of bills should not be taken up.

“In a democracy, opposition is part of the process and therefore no bill or legislative work should be taken up in the absence of the opposition, he said.

AIADMK’s P. Venugopal sought to raise the issue of suspension but was disallowed by the speaker.

BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab also indicated that he wanted to raise the issue after Venugopal.

Though members of the Congress and many opposition parties were absent from the house, the house did witness protests as members of the YSR Congress carrying placards sought a special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

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