New Delhi, Mar 5 : The Congress on Thursday lashed out at the Union government over the suspension of it's seven MPs from the Lok Sabha for the rest of the session, saying that they have not committed any wrong by demanding discussion on a very sensitive issue in the country - the Delhi riots. "Since the day one, we were requesting for the discussion over Delhi violence, in which 48 people were killed. People were asking us why you are not discussing the issue in Parliament. Yesterday, Congress MPs, led by Rahul Gandhi, visited the riot-hit areas,' said Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, along with the suspended MPs.
He said the government is afraid to discuss the matter in Parliament, but it is the Parliamentarians' legitimate right and moral duty to raise such issues. Mr Chowdhury further said that Speaker Om Birla said the government wants to make a statement on Coronavirus and they agreed to it immediately. "But, they have chosen the occasion to insult our president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Then, they suspended our seven MPs for the entire session. But, we will not be afraid. We will raise this issue again", he asserted.
Responding to a question, whether the Congress will approach the Speaker over the suspension, Mr Chowdhury said that before taking a decision, the Speaker was well aware of what was transpiring inside the house. "For the last two days, the Speaker himself has been remaining absent from the House, and on a couple of occasions, I have personally approached and requested him to occupy his chair", Mr Chowdhury said and added that Congress has a very cordial relation with the Speaker. "But, we should not be seen as beggars. We have not committed any wrong by demanding the discussion on a very sensitive issue in our country. Yes, Delhi riot is a sensitive issue of our country", he added.
Congress Organisational General Secretary KC Venugopal also criticised the government and said the government is destroying the entire Parliamentary system and conventions. "If they are not going to discuss the Delhi riot, then what do they want to discuss? In fact, this government is destroying the democratic institutions, whether it is Parliament, Judiciary or Election Commission, everything", he said. He also said that when the country is facing such a situation, a Member of Parliament has the right to request to have discussion on Delhi riots.
"But, the government is not only allowing the discussion, but they are suspending members, who are demanding the discussion, which is totally unacceptable,' Mr Venugopal added. He further said that going to the well of House was not a new thing in Parliament. "Treasury people also went to the Well, what was the action taken against them?", the Congress General Secretary asked. Tarun Gogoi, one of the suspended MPs, said, "Suspend me, but please discuss Delhi riots tomorrow. Show your accountability towards the very people who voted for you. No matter the number, Congress derives it's strength from our commitment towards Bharat Mata and we will continue to seek justice from Prime Minister Narendra Modi".
Responding to his suspension, Congress MP Manickam Tagore tweeted, "Suspend us but Shah please come out of hiding and answer on Delhi riots tomorrow. Show your accountability towards the very people who voted for you. We will stand for truth and fight against injustice! Because we r proud Congress men". Earlier in the day, the Speaker suspended the seven MPs of Congress - Gurjeet Singh Aujla, Benny Behanan, Gaurav Gogoi, Dean Kuriakose, T N Prathapan, Manickam Tagore B and Rajmohan Unnithan - from the Lok Sabha for the remaining session, for their 'unruly behaviour'. They were suspended under Rule 374 for the remaining session, after voting in the House. (UNI)