BJP MPs gatecrash Opposition protest

BJP MP's holding placards in front of the 12 suspended MP's during a protest demonstration n front of the Gandhi Statue during the Winter Session at Parliament house in New Delhi on Friday, December 03, 2021.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

A handful of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs from the Rajya Sabha gatecrashed at the Opposition protest on Friday morning, carrying placards with photographs of scenes of disruption in the monsoon session of Parliament. For a few minutes, the two sides carried on with competitive slogans but, widely outnumbered by the Opposition, the BJP MPs had to beat a hasty retreat.

Friday was the third day of the protest by the 12 suspended MPs. At around 10 a.m., when Opposition MPs gathered at the Gandhi statue to protest in solidarity with their 12 suspended colleagues from the Rajya Sabha, the BJP MPs came marching in. The BJP was carrying out a march from the Gandhi statue to the Ambedkar statue in the Parliament precincts.

The BJP and Opposition MPs stood shoulder to shoulder, trying to out shout each other, but the situation did not precipitate further. Opposition MPs shouted “Kisan virodhi (anti-farmer), Narendra Modi” while the BJP MPs were heard raising slogans on saving democracy.

“What happened today morning with Gandhi-ji as witness is cause enough for us to protest. For the last three days, we have been sitting in peaceful dharna. We allowed the House to run, and today, when we are once again conducting a peaceful dharna, they decided to barge in to attack us,” Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader K. Keshava Rao said.

Also read: Parliament Proceedings | December 3, 2021

Suspended Congress MP Syed Naseer Hussain called it yet another attempt to intimidate the protesting Opposition. “The people who do not believe in Gandhi are now trying to look for shelter under his shadow. The way they tried to occupy the space near the Gandhi statue, where we are protesting, shows their arrogance,” he said.

Communist Party of India (CPI) MP Binoy Viswam also concurred with this view. He said that one can expect very little from those “who believe in Godse and not Gandhi”. Mr. Viswam said that the 12 suspended MPs were ready to sit in protest “for as long as it takes”. “Our inspiration is the country’s farmers, who sat for more than a year till the government was forced to withdraw the three farm laws. We are not in a hurry, we will also sit in protest as long as we need to,” Mr. Viswam added.

When the House convened for the day, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Manoj K. Jha raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha. Detailing the incident, he said the gatecrashing amounted to “taking away the democratic values”.

In response, Leader of House Piyush Goyal said the unrepentant behaviour of the suspended MPs and their colleagues showed that they endorsed the attack on the Parliament’s marshalls (which led to their suspension). He informed the House that certain Opposition leaders had approached him to break the deadlock.

Mr. Goyal said, “What is required is an apology. They said, ‘No, we cannot apologise.’ I showed instances in the past where you and I have apologised on very minor things. But they feel that what they have done is legitimate and very noble. Under these circumstances, what do we say to the Opposition?”

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 11:51:56 AM |

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