After Priyanka Chaturvedi, Tharoor now steps down as Sansad TV host in protest against suspension of Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Expressing solidarity with the 12 suspended Rajya Sabha MPs, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday said he has decided to suspend hosting of a talk show on Sansad TV until the suspension of the legislators is revoked and a “semblance of bipartisanship restored to the conduct of Parliament”.

Tharoor has been hosting the talk show “To The Point” on Sansad TV.

“I believed that my accepting Sansad TV’s invitation to host a show was in the best traditions of India’s parliamentary democracy, reaffirming the principle that our political differences did not prevent us, as Members of Parliament, from participating fully in various parliamentary institutions which belong to us all,” the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said.

“However, the prolonged suspension of 12 MPs from the Rajya Sabha, expelled in an arbitrary manner for actions committed during a previous session, has called into question the very assumption of a bipartisan spirit animating the work of Parliament,” he said.

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Tharoor said that in solidarity with the protesting MPs, he has decided to suspend hosting of the talk show “To the Point” on Sansad TV until such time as the suspensions of MPs are revoked and a “semblance of bipartisanship restored to the conduct of Parliament and the functioning of Sansad TV”.

His statement comes a day after Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, who is among the 12 suspended Rajya Sabha MPs, said she has stepped down as the anchor of the Sansad TV’s show “Meri Kahaani”.

The 12 opposition MPs — six from the Congress, two each from the Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, and one each from the CPI and CPI(M) — were suspended from the Rajya Sabha last Monday for the entire Winter Session of Parliament for their “unruly” conduct in the previous session in August.

The Opposition has termed the suspension as “undemocratic and in violation of all the Rules of Procedure” of the Upper House.