Congress refuses to join Rajya Sabha inquiry committee

A committee was proposed to investigate into the disruption that took place in the Upper House on August 11, when some opposition MPs got into a scuffle with the marshals. At least two marshals submitted a written account of their injuries to the chairperson.
Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu had proposed a committee to examine the complaints and the ruckus that took place inside the House last month. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge in his letter to him has declined to be part of the investigation. (PTI PHOTO.)
Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu had proposed a committee to examine the complaints and the ruckus that took place inside the House last month. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge in his letter to him has declined to be part of the investigation. (PTI PHOTO.)
Updated on Sep 10, 2021 01:10 AM IST
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The Congress Party has written to Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu turning down the request for nominating a representative of the party to a proposed inquiry committee being set up to investigate into the ruckus that took place in the House during the monsoon session on August 11. The party has said it feels that the investigation committee seems like a “design to intimidate MPs into silence”.

A committee was proposed to investigate into the disruption that took place in the Upper House on August 11, when some opposition MPs got into a scuffle with the marshals. At least two marshals submitted a written account of their injuries to the chairperson. Two women MPs of the Congress Phulo Devi and Chayya Varma had also alleged being manhandled in the ruckus that broke out on the floor of the House.

While Naidu had proposed a committee to examine the complaints and the ruckus that took place, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge in his letter to him has declined to be part of the investigation.

In his letter, which HT has seen, Kharge said the proposed inquiry committee will, “…Not only suppress the voices of the people’s representatives but deliberately brush aside all those that are uncomfortable to the government.”

The letter goes on to say, “I am, therefore, unequivocally against constituting the enquiry committee and the question of a party proposing the name of a member from a party for nomination to this committee does not arise.”

The government for its part blamed the opposition for disrupting Parliament, deviating from Parliamentary procedure and damaging house property despite the assurance that discussion on issues raised by the opposition will be taken up.

Kharge, has however underlined that the government not only brushed aside the opposition parties’ demand for discussion, but also rushed through crucial bills and policies, which could potentially have a grave and adverse effect on India.

The leader of the opposition pointed out that his party gave multiple notices under the rules of procedure, hoping to have constructive deliberations on the state of India’s economy, farmers protest, inflation, rise in prices of petrol and diesel and other essential commodities, unemployment, China’s violation of India’s territorial integrity, the Pegasus and Rafael scandals among a host of other national issues.

He also alleged that the government did not heed the opposition’s demands to send crucial bills for further scrutiny to select committees.

“It (government) also bypassed standing committees, and refused to have any meaningful discussion on bills, policies and issues. Additionally, senior ministers were largely absent from Parliament while opposition MPs were suspended. In doing so, the government undermined the sovereignty of Parliament,” the letter says.

At least two MPs from CPI and TMC said they have not been asked to send representatives to the proposed committee.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021