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INDIA Bloc Parties Hold Protest Against Suspension of MPs From Parliament

Matter of breach of privilege that PM and Home Minister spoke outside Parliament while it was in session and did not apprise the House on security breach: Kharge
Suspended opposition MPs protest in Parliament

New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge with suspended opposition MPs during a protest over their suspension at Mahatma Gandhi statue amid the Winter session of Parliament on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)

New Delhi:  Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday alleged that Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar had brought casteism to Parliament, after the Vice President had slammed a TMC leader’s mimicry of him and called it an insult to his background as a farmer and Jat.

Kharge made the remarks after Opposition MPs marched to Vijay Chowk from Parliament to protest the suspension of 143 MPs from the House.

The Congress president, flanked by MPs and leaders of INDIA bloc parties, alleged that it was a matter of breach of privilege of the House that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had spoken outside Parliament while it was in session and did not apprise the House over the Lok Sabha security breach incident.

“We wanted to raise Parliament security breach issue as to why it happened and who is responsible?” Kharge said.

The Opposition wanted to speak on the issue but Prime Minister Modi and Home minister Shah did not turn up, even as the PM continued to make speeches elsewhere, Kharge said.

INDIA bloc leaders will protest at Jantar Mantar Friday against suspension of MPs and nationwide protests will also be held in all district headquarters against the government’s “immoral and illegal” behaviour of this government.

He also alleged that the government doesn't want the House to function.

In an apparent reference to the mimicry issue and Dhankhar’s remarks on it, Kharge said, “I am sorry to say that the Rajya Sabha Chairman has in a way brought casteism to Parliament by raising an issue.”

A political row broke out on Tuesday after Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee allegedly mimicked Dhankhar during the Opposition's protest on the stairs of Parliament against the MPs' suspension, drawing strong condemnation from the ruling BJP.

Dhankhar had given vent to his anguish in Rajya Sabha, saying he was personally hurt as his farmer and Jat backgrounds were targeted.

Two more Opposition members in Lok Sabha were suspended on Wednesday for displaying placards, taking the total number of members of the lower House against whom such action has been taken to 97.

With these fresh suspensions, the total number of members suspended from the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha since December 14 has gone up to 143.

After two men jumped in the Lok Sabha chamber on December 13 and released smoke from canisters, the Opposition has been disrupting House proceedings demanding a statement from Shah on the security breach.

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