Parliament House can't be used for dharnas, strikes: Rajya Sabha Secretariat

The latest circular comes amid opposition outrage over the "gag order" on using certain words in Parliament.

July 15, 2022 11:37 am | Updated 11:37 am IST - New Delhi

According to a latest circular issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Members cannot use the precincts of the Parliament House for any demonstration, dharna, strike, fast, or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony. File photo

According to a latest circular issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Members cannot use the precincts of the Parliament House for any demonstration, dharna, strike, fast, or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony. File photo | Photo Credit: PTI

Demonstrations, dharnas, fast or religious ceremonies can no longer be held in the precincts of Parliament House, a new circular by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat states.

The circular on dharnas comes amid opposition outrage over the "gag order" on using certain words in Parliament, and has sparked criticism from the opposition Congress.

The new bulletin, which has been issued by Rajya Sabha Secretary General P.C.Mody ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 18, said the kind cooperation of members is solicited.

"Members cannot use the precincts of the Parliament House for any demonstration, dharna, strike, fast, or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony," the bulletin said.

Congress general secretary and chief whip of the party in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter to attack the government.

"Vishguru's latest salvo — D(h)arna Mana Hai!," he said, sharing a copy of the circular issued on July 14.

Opposition members have in the past demonstrated inside Parliament complex and have also staged protests and fasts outside Mahatma Gandhi's statue inside the complex.

The circular on usage of some terms in Parliament has drawn flak from the Opposition parties.

However, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla made it clear on Thursday that no word has been banned from use in Parliament but will be expunged on contextual basis. Members are free to express their views while maintaining decorum of the House, he had said.

A new booklet by the Lok Sabha Secretariat said on Wednesday that the use of terms like 'jumlajeevi', 'baal buddhi', 'Covid spreader', 'Snoopgate' and even commonly used words like 'ashamed', 'abused, 'betrayed', 'corrupt', 'drama', 'hypocrisy' and 'incompetent' will henceforth be considered unparliamentary in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

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