Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has leveled serious accusations against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleging the weaponization of parliamentary suspensions as a means to stifle democratic processes and throttle constitutional practices. Kharge’s assertions come in response to a letter from Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, defending the unprecedented suspension of 146 Members of Parliament.
In his reply to Dhankhar, Kharge expressed concern over what he termed the government’s “autocratic and arrogant attitude” towards Parliament, indicating that the mass suspension of MPs is a deliberate attempt to silence opposition voices, representing the voters of 146 MPs altogether. He emphasized that the suspension not only curtails parliamentary participation but also undermines democratic representation.
Referring to Dhankhar’s justification of the suspensions as “unavoidable,” Kharge questioned the rationale behind the mass suspension, characterizing it as predetermined and executed without proper consideration or application of mind. He highlighted the suspension of an Opposition MP who was reportedly absent during the parliamentary session, indicating a lack of due process in the decision-making.
Kharge also brought attention to notices seeking a statement from Union Home Minister Amit Shah regarding the December 14 Parliament security breach, prior to the initiation of suspensions. He expressed regret that despite Dhankhar’s authority in such matters, the chair did not insist on the minister’s statement during the session, allowing Shah to address the issue publicly through a television channel.
Expressing disappointment over the government’s approach, Kharge reiterated the need for objective and neutral examination of concerns related to the suspension of lawmakers, emphasizing the importance of upholding democratic practices within Parliament.
Acknowledging Dhankhar’s call to move forward, Kharge proposed a discussion in the Chairman’s chambers but indicated that such a dialogue would be futile if the government does not show willingness to facilitate the smooth functioning of the House. He affirmed his commitment to a constructive dialogue upon his return to Delhi, underlining the necessity of preserving the sanctity of democratic institutions.
The exchange between Kharge and Dhankhar underscores the escalating tensions and concerns surrounding the suspension of MPs, highlighting the imperative need for an amicable resolution and the restoration of parliamentary decorum.