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Opposition Leaders Condemn Suspension of MPs over Protest against Agri Bills

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KOLKATA – Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday condemned the suspension of eight MPs who fought to protect the interests of farmers in Parliament.

Banerjee came down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre protesting its “undemocratic norms and principles” of functioning.

“Suspension of the eight MPs who fought to protect farmers’ interests is unfortunate and reflective of this autocratic Government’s mindset that doesn’t respect democratic norms and principles,” Banerjee tweeted.

Eight opposition members, including Trinamool Congress’ Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien, were suspended from the Rajya Sabha this morning for the rest of the session over unprecedented chaos in the Upper House during the passing of controversial farm bills on Sunday.

Besides O’Brien, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Sanjay Singh, Congress’s Rajeev Satav and CPI-M’s KK Ragesh, were told they had displayed “unruly behaviour especially with the Chair and gross disorderly conduct”.

“We won’t bow down and we will fight this fascist Government in Parliament and on the streets,” the Trinamool supremo added in her tweet, accusing the BJP of killing democracy in the country.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre for continuing “muting” of democratic India, “turning a blind eye to farmers’ concerns” over the contentious farm bills and bringing “economic disaster” for the country.

“Muting of Democratic India continues: by initially silencing and later, suspending MPs in the Parliament & turning a blind eye to farmers’ concerns on the black agriculture laws. This ‘omniscient’ Govt’s endless arrogance has brought economic disaster for the entire country,” tweeted Gandhi, who is away in the US accompanying his mother and Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, for a health check-up.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill were cleared by voice vote in Rajya Sabha even as the Opposition members protested. The members stormed the Well of the House demanding that the bills be sent to a select committee for a review. Opposition leaders charged towards Rajya Sabha’s deputy chairman Harivansh’s seat as he was presiding over the proceedings. They jumped onto tables and shot videos of the ruckus.

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