United Opposition Protests in Lok Sabha

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At a time when opposition parties are accused of being disorganized during protests in the House, members of ally DMK, as well as those from the TRS and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), showed camaraderie in Lok Sabha on Tuesday for “misconduct”.

DMK MPs, including senior leaders Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja, and M Kanimozhi, walked to the Well of Lok Sabha and asked the presiding officer to “revoke the suspension”.

The suspended MPs — Manickam Tagore, S Jothimani, Ramya Haridas, and T N Prathapan — continued their protests before the Gandhi statue in Parliament premises. They had been suspended on Monday for the remaining part of the session, which ends on August 12, for showing placards and blocking the Chair’s view.

In the morning, the Upper House also witnessed protests, resulting in adjournments till noon. The Question Hour was taken up, even though Opposition members continued their protests.

Continuing their protests on Tuesday morning when the Lok Sabha met, Congress MPs in the House, along with DMK, TRS, and some TMC members, shouted slogans, accusing the government of “intimidating” them and showing “highhandedness”.

For the second successive day on Tuesday, Congress MPs shouted slogans against the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioning party chief Sonia Gandhi in connection with the National Herald case. They shouted, “ED-Modi nahi chalega”.

Speaker Om Birla took up Question Hour but could not proceed, as protesting MPs stood in the Well of the House and continued shouting slogans. Birla said, “This is your House; you have been elected to debate the issue. You can discuss every issue. But this is not a place to show placards regularly. People are watching you.”

As the protests went on, Birla adjourned proceedings for 30 minutes.

Congress MPs were not present when the House resumed — led by Sonia Gandhi, they held a march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to give a memorandum to President, but were detained by police. Inside the House, several Opposition members kept up the protest, raising slogans, first in Tamil and then in English, and urging the Chair to revoke their suspension.

Rajendra Agarwal, who was in the Chair, repeatedly asked the MPs to return to their seats. DMK and Left MPs were in the Well of the House, while NCP’s Supriya Sule and others stood near their seats and protested.

As Agarwal continued with business, they staged a walkout but returned when the House took up Zero Hour. As the presiding officer did not call Opposition members to raise their issues, the MPs continued their protests with sloganeering. As the uproar went on, proceedings were adjourned until 2 pm.

Similar scenes were repeated when the House reassembled, and proceedings were adjourned for the day in the afternoon.

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