Opposition does not want House to run, says BJP
The ruling BJP on Monday accused the Opposition in Rajya Sabha of working with the "mantra of disturbance and disruption" and said they do not want the House to function, after leaders of five Opposition parties did not attend a meeting called by the government to break the deadlock over the suspension of 12 members.
These parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Shiv Sena, have argued that the government should have called the entire Opposition for the meeting as they have been together in protesting the suspension of these members over their alleged unruly conduct in Rajya Sabha during the last session.
Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal said it is clear that the Opposition is not interested in running the House, and they have nothing to offer except disturbance and disruption.
"They could have made their point in the meeting, and the government might have invited everyone," he said, noting that the leaders of five parties were called at the direction of Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu who wanted both sides to sit together to thrash out a solution.
Noting that Congress leader Anand Sharma had referred to the suspension of seven Opposition MPs in 2010 who were later allowed to resume their work, Goyal cited from the minutes of the proceedings then to say their suspension was revoked only after the then leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley tendered an apology.
Even then one of the seven members remained suspended, Goyal said, adding that no BJP member was among the suspended members in 2010 but Jaitley as the leader of Opposition expressed regret.
The senior BJP leader said the 12 suspended MPs should tender an apology to restore Parliament's and the Chair's dignity and added that this will not belittle them.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, who along with BJP MP Anil Baluni joined Goyal at the press conference, said this has been precedence for over six decades that suspended members have almost always apologised for their conduct before being allowed to join Parliament's proceedings.
Demanding revocation of the suspension of 12 MPs, Opposition parties have disrupted Rajya Sabha proceedings day after day, forcing the Chair to repeatedly adjourn the House.