New Delhi: A number of Opposition parties led by the Congress on Tuesday staged a walk-out from Rajya Sabha demanding that the suspension of eight members be revoked.
The Congress was the first to walkout from the House along with members of the Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress and Left parties.
The members of all these three parties are among those who have been suspended by the House for the remaining part of the Monsoon session.
Some parties like the Nationalist Congress Party, Samajwadi Party, Shiv Sena and Rashtriya Janata Dal also staged a walkout later.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu made a fresh appeal to members of all Opposition parties to rethink their decision of boycotting the House proceedings and participate in the discussions of the House.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said: "The government is not hell-bent upon keeping the suspended MPs out of the House," he says.
"If they express regret, the government will look into it."
Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda said the government and Opposition should sit together to run the House.
Earlier Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said the Opposition will boycott the proceedings of the House till the suspension of eight members is revoked.
Speaking after the Zero Hour, Azad also demanded that the government brings a Bill which should ensure private players don't procure food grains below the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the government.
As many as eight members of the Rajya Sabha were suspended on Monday after the government brought a motion in this regard which was passed by the House by voice vote.
These eight members were suspended for "unruly behaviour" during the passage of the two key farm Bills on Sunday by Rajya Sabha amid chaos.
All-Night Sit-in Protest Continues
Meanwhile, the eight suspended Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs on Tuesday ended their overnight sit-in inside the Parliament House complex after the Opposition decided to boycott the remaining session in the Upper House.
"All the opposition parties have boycotted the rest of the session (in Rajya Sabha), nobody is attending the session. They appealed to us to withdraw the dharma and since nobody is attending the session till the suspension is revoked, there is no point in continuing with the dharna," suspended Congress MP Nasir Hussain told PTI.
Hussain said all eight collectively decided to call off the protest.
Another Congress MP Rajeev Satav said they called off the protest since the Opposition has boycotted the remaining Rajya Sabha session, and added that they will now hit the streets against the farm Bills.
The third suspended Congress MP, Ripun Bora, also confirmed that the protest was called off.
The suspended parliamentarians had spent the night in the lawns near Mahatma Gandhi's statue, a first such overnight protest in the Parliament complex, old-timers said.
AAP's Sanjay Singh tweeted a picture from the protest site in the morning, saying the "whole night was spent under the open sky in front of Bapu's statue". "The protest in favour of farmers' rights is continuing," he added.
The RS deputy chairman, the leaders said, came in bright and early with a posse of news cameras and was told by a senior MP to visit them without the cameras and sit with them.
"Another senior MP also told him that while bringing tea was a nice gesture, he was still in the wrong in what he did. He was told that he was the one who broke the rules," a protesting MP told PTI.
Several leaders said they did not accept the tea and snacks offered by the deputy chairman. "I did not have the tea brought by him," Sanjay Singh said.
The Monsoon Session is scheduled to end on October 1. However, the session is likely to be curtailed with several MPs testing positive for COVID-19.
On Monday, the House chairman Naidu also rejected a notice for a no-confidence motion against the deputy chairman as it was not in proper format and a 14-day notice period was not given.
Opposition parties have hit out at the government over the suspension of the Rajya Sabha MPs, with the Congress terming it "undemocratic" and "one-sided".
Four of the eight suspended Upper House members had moved resolutions opposing some key Bills that appear in the Rajya Sabha List of Business announced for Tuesday. These four MPs are Derek O'Brien (TMC), Rajeev Satav (Congress), Elamaram Kareem (CPI-M) and K K Ragesh (CPI-M).
Since they are suspended, their names don't figure in the list.
The four other suspended members are Sanjay Singh (AAP), Syed Nazir Hussain (Congress), Ripun Boren (Congress) and Dola Sen (TMC).
On Monday, after the suspension of the MPs, they had launched an indefinite strike, prepared to sit in all night with blankets, pillows and mosquito repellents.