Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day amid Opposition protests over suspension of MPs


NEW DELHI: There is no resolution in sight for the stalemate in the Rajya Sabha over the suspension of 12 MPs as a united opposition on Sunday rejected the government’s outreach to resolve the logjam.

Top sources in the opposition said they will not attend the Monday morning meeting convened by Leader of the House Piyush Goyal as invitations were sent to leaders of the four parties whose MPs have been suspended and not to the entire opposition.

Responding to a letter from Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi inviting the four parties, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said “select invitations were unfortunate”.

The government’s invitations have gone to the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena and the CPI(M), sources said.

The meeting was convened at 10 am on Monday as the Winter Session of Parliament enters its final week.

“We will not attend tomorrow’s meeting with the government as the opposition stands united in its fight,” a senior opposition leader told PTI.

Kharge said he received a letter on Sunday evening asking leaders of the four parties, whose members in the Rajya Sabha have been suspended, to the meeting.

“All Opposition parties are united in the protest against the suspension of the 12 MPs. We have been requesting from the evening of November 29 itself that either the chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the Leader of the House Piyush Goyal should call leaders of all Opposition parties for a discussion to break the stalemate,” he said.

“This reasonable request of ours has not been agreed to. Further, inviting only leaders of four Opposition parties instead of inviting leaders of all Opposition parties is unfair and unfortunate,” Kharge said in his letter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Joshi.

TMC leader Derek O’Brien tweeted, “Monday morning STUNT from a government who do not want Parliament to function.

Government calls leaders of the four Opposition parties whose 12 RS MPs have been arbitrarily suspended.”

“Government leaves other 10 Opposition parties out. Failed stunt. All opposition clear: First revoke arbitrary suspension,” he said on Twitter.

A similar letter has also been sent to Joshi by CPI(M) MP Elamaram Kareem.

“It is quite unfortunate that the government has delayed such talks with the opposition even after three weeks of the suspension. Even now the action of the government is not sincere as the meeting is meant for only the floor leaders of the suspended MPs’ parties,” he said in the letter.

“You are well aware that the entire opposition has been taking a unified stand on this suspension issue and all the opposition parties together requested the Chairman and government to hold such a meeting to resolve the stalemate from day one.”

He alleged that it is the government who delayed it and the decision of inviting only a section of the opposition party leaders for the meeting is “completely unfair and unacceptable”.

“If the government is sincere in resolving this issue, I would request you to convene the meeting of all opposition parties,” Kareem said in his letter to Joshi.

The Opposition parties have decided to meet on Monday morning to develop their joint strategy in Parliament during the last week of the Winter Session.

The Rajya Sabha has failed to transact any significant business as the opposition is unitedly protesting in the House leading to repeated disruptions over the issue of suspensions.

While the government wants the suspended MPs should apologise first, the opposition is saying that the suspensions be revoked without any apology.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had urged the government and the opposition to resolve the deadlock over suspensions and find an amicable solution.