Opposition MPs repeatedly obstructed proceedings, suspension with ‘heavy heart’, says BJP

Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, Piyush Goyal, said it is not the government but the opposition that is running away from a debate in Parliament

Piyush Goyal, leader of the House in Rajya Sabha. Twitter/ANI

New Delhi: Decision to suspend 19 opposition MPs from Rajya Sabha was taken with a “heavy heart”, said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday. The party said that the lawmakers were suspended as they repeatedly obstructed proceedings of the Upper House and ignored the Chair’s appeals to let Parliament function.

Piyush Goyal, leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, said it is not the government but the opposition that is running away from a debate in Parliament. He reiterated that the government is ready for a discussion on price rise once Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recovers from COVID-19 and returns to Parliament.

These members infringed on the rights of other MPs who wanted the House to function, he told reporters and appealed to the opposition to participate in parliamentary proceedings.

“India has tackled inflation and price rise better than many countries, and the government is keen to inform Parliament about the important steps it has taken to handle price rise,” Goyal said.

He also hit out at opposition parties for protesting against the imposition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on several pre-labelled food items.

The opposition members, including from the Congress, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Left, were part of the GST council that took the decision unanimously on introducing the fresh levy, he said.

All state governments are represented in the council. The Congress, the Left and the TMC besides other opposition parties are in power in different states.

“They were equally part of the decision-making process in the council. Now they are making absolutely baseless allegations,” he said.

The opposition knows that it has failed in discharging its responsibilities and that is why it is not willing to engage with the government and is running away from Parliament, the Union minister claimed.

Hitting back at the opposition parties over the issue of price rise, he said the states where they are in power did not slash VAT on fuel, unlike BJP governments in states.

Nineteen opposition MPs, including seven from the TMC and six from the DMK, were suspended on Tuesday from Rajya Sabha till Friday for disrupting the proceedings of the House.

With inputs from agencies

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