Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar on Tuesday flayed the decision to suspend over 90 Members of Parliament after they sought a statement from the government over the Parliament security breach.
Pawar, a Rajya Sabha MP, has written a letter to Upper House Chairman and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar, terming the decision to suspend MPs seeking an explanation for the security breach incident as “counter productive to the principles of accountability and transparency”.
“MPs have a legitimate right to seek clarification and ensure the safety of the parliamentary environment, which is our country’s icon of democracy,” said Pawar, 84.
"However, it was disheartening that not only did the government distance itself from such a statement, but also took action to suspend the MPs seeking explanation/statement on the breach of security of the country’s highest law making body.
“Given the severity of the incident, it is but natural that the MPs would seek a clarification regarding the same and the government should have been forthcoming with a statement as to how it intended to address the issue,” Pawar told the Vice-President.
He said it was ‘ironic’ that more than 90 MPs seeking the explanation from the government were suspended, including 45 from Rajya Sabha.
Pawar said he was given to understand that some MPs who did not enter the well (of the House), raise slogans and were not involved in the ‘continuous’ disruption, too have been named in the list of the suspended MPs.
“Realising the seriousness and gravity of the issue of the attack, and then the suspension that followed, I would request you to kindly address this matter in the interest of upholding the integrity of the parliamentary processes and precedents and the democratic values,” urged Pawar.
Giving a brief backgrounder to his letter, the NCP supremo said that last Wednesday (December 13), the Parliament witnessed a canister attack with two men jumping from the visitors’ gallery into the House, releasing yellow smoke from the canisters before they were overpowered.
There were two others outside the Parliament who also released colour smoke and raised slogans in the House premises, and now all four, along with their other accomplices have been arrested.
Pawar described that day’s incident as ‘deeply troubling’, especially since it was the anniversary of a terrorist attack that very day (December 13) in 2001, which claimed the lives of six Delhi Police security personnel, two from the parliamentary security detail and a gardener.
The fact that these intruders were able to access the premises using passes issued by an MP, and subsequently breached security measures by jumping in the House from the public gallery with gas canisters is a matter of grave concern, said Pawar.
The NCP leader’s two-pager came on a day when the national Opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc is meeting in New Delhi to finalise its strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024.