After Opposition sit-in, day-long fast by Deputy Chairman Harivansh to protest ‘violent behaviour’ of MPs in Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh will observe a 24-hour-long fast to express his anguish over the unruly behaviour of opposition MPs with him in the House during the passing of the farm bills on Sunday.

In a letter addressed to Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, Harivansh said that the ruckus created in the House by opposition MPs has pained him deeply. He referred to the violent behaviour of some opposition MPs in the name of democracy to say there was an attempt to threaten the person who was presiding over the House.

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He noted that the MPs ripped the Rajya Sabha rule book and flung it at him. He said members climbed tables and threw official papers and raised ugly slogans.

“Whatever happened in front of me in the Rajya Sabha has affected the modesty of the House,” he said.

Harivansh said that his fast begins from Tuesday morning and will end on Wednesday on the birthday of ‘rashtra kavi’ Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. “My fast may perhaps inspire ‘self-purification’ in those who behaved insultingly towards me,” he wrote.

Harivansh was in the Chair when the two farm bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha on Sunday. The opposition MPs were demanding that the bills be sent to the Select Committee. The bills — Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, were passed by voice vote amid a ruckus as opposition members who climbed on to the Chairman’s podium, flung the rule book at Harivansh and tore official papers. Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien entered the Well of the House and tore papers and yanked the mic off the Chairman’s desk.

On Monday, Rajya Sabha Chairman suspended eight opposition MPs for the remainder of the Monsoon Session. They are Rajeev Satav, Syed Nazir Hussain Ripun Boren (all Congress), Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen (both TMC), KK Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem (both CPM) and AAP’s Sanjay Singh.

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