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Home / India / Parliament House can't be used for dharnas, strikes: RS secretariat

Parliament House can't be used for dharnas, strikes: RS secretariat

Attempts to muzzle the soul of India, its democracy and its very voice will fall flat, says Sitaram Yechury
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition parliamentarians protest on December 1, 2021, the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs during the winter session of Parliament. Demonstrations, dharnas, fast and religious ceremonies will not be allowed in the precincts of Parliament House according to  a circular by the Rajya Sabha secretariat on Friday.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition parliamentarians protest on December 1, 2021, the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs during the winter session of Parliament. Demonstrations, dharnas, fast and religious ceremonies will not be allowed in the precincts of Parliament House according to a circular by the Rajya Sabha secretariat on Friday.
PTI picture

PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 16.07.22, 01:07 AM

Demonstrations, dharnas or religious ceremonies cannot be held in the precincts of Parliament House, a circular by the Rajya Sabha secretariat has said, angering the Opposition a day after the Lok Sabha created a furore by adding to the list of “unparliamentary words”.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla insisted that such notices were being issued for years.          

The fresh bulletin, issued by Rajya Sabha secretary-general P.C. Mody ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 18, said: “Members cannot use the precincts of the Parliament House for any demonstration, dharna, strike, fast, or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony.”  

Congress Rajya Sabha chief whip Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “Vishguru’s latest salvo — D(h)arna Mana Hai!” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s admirers call him vishwaguru.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury tweeted: “What a farce. The attempts to muzzle the soul of India, its democracy and its very voice will fall flat.”

He said protesting in the Parliament House complex was a political right of the MPs and it was being violated.

Manoj Jha of the RJD sought the immediate intervention of the Rajya Sabha Chairman and the Lok Sabha Speaker.

“Bringing a parliamentary bulletin to say that we cannot hold a dharna inside the Parliament, it is an attempt to take parliamentary democracy to the grave. We demand that the Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman intervene immediately,” he tweeted.

Trinamul’s Mahua Moitra took a swipe at the Prime Minister for holding a religious ceremony “on top of the new Parliament building”. “Btw Honourable MP Varanasi performed a religious ceremony on top of new Parliament Building just four days ago,” she tweeted.

Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted: “Will they come for Parliamentary Questions next? PS: Hope this isn’t an unparliamentary question to ask.”

The circular on dharnas comes amid Opposition outrage over a Lok Sabha bulletin adding to the list of “unparliamentary” words. The Opposition alleged an attempt to muzzle them and underlined that many of the new entries are terms they use to describe the Narendra Modi government.

After the Opposition uproar over the circular on dharnas, Speaker Birla told reporters that political parties should refrain from making allegations without ascertaining the facts.

“It (such circulars to members) is a process. This practice has been carrying on for a long time,” he said.

“My appeal to all political parties is that in Parliament or the Assemblies, they should abstain from making charges and counter-charges without ascertaining the facts. Our endeavour should be to strengthen democratic institutions, as all of them work with accountability.”



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