"Not Permitted To Speak For A Minute": M Kharge Responds To Veep's Charges

Congress chief and the Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said the suspension of MPs from the Parliament was "painful and frustrating" and detrimental to the "core principles of India's democracy."

"Not Permitted To Speak For A Minute": M Kharge Responds To Veep's Charges

Congress chief and the Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said the suspension of MPs from the Parliament was "painful and frustrating" and detrimental to the "core principles of India's democracy."

In a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar, the leader, reiterated the Opposition's demand for the Home Minister to make a statement on the recent Parliament breach. The Congress chief said the government "will have its way" but the Opposition must have a say. "I have no doubt that you will uphold this basic principle of parliamentary democracy in letter and spirit," he urged.

The Congress leader, was responding to a letter sent by the Vice President in which he said the disruptions by Opposition MPs rendered the House "dysfunctional". Mr Kharge, on the other hand, said the MPs were not permitted to speak for "even a minute or two".

"The opposition parties were prepared to engage in a meaningful discussion on the matter. Regrettably, these notices were neither admitted, nor was I, as the Leader of the Opposition, or any other member of the opposition parties permitted to speak on the floor of the House even for a minute or two," he said in his letter.

While Mr Kharge called the MPs' suspension a "blatant violation of rules", he agreed to the Chaiman's request for a dialogue. "I am more than willing to engage in a meeting with you at a mutually convenient date and time in the near future to address these concerns constructively."

Both House witnessed high-voltage protests by opposition MPs who demanded a discussion on the December 13 security breach, where two intruders jumped into the Lok Sabha chambers and set off coloured smoke canisters. Over 140 MPs were expelled from both house for "unruly conduct".