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‘Till Modi, No Voice In Parliament’, Says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Over 92 Suspensions

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the Congress Lok Sabha floor, is one of the 78 opposition MPs suspended from Parliament on Monday. With 92 lawmakers suspended so far this session, this is a record number of suspensions in a single day. According to Chowdhury, in an interview, the government has “no interest in the parliamentary system” and “does not want to run Parliament.”

Among the MPs suspended today was you. This session, 92 suspensions have occurred in total.
Ranjan Adhir Chowdhury: I am content in a way. The fact that I was indoors and several of my coworkers were suspended both made me feel horrible. But, to be serious, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on track to suspend opposition MPs for the first time in history. It is going to be a first. “The voice of the people will not be heard in Parliament until Modi is around,” is the new Modi government’s pledge.

Why, in your opinion, is the government taking such drastic measures?
Ranjan Adhir Chowdhury: This is all just a display of bluster and conceit on the part of the BJP, which doesn’t care whether the House meets or not or whether democratic traditions are upheld.

India’s parliamentary democracy is about to reach its lowest point. The regime is an advocate of totalitarianism. The Members of Parliament will take the floor tomorrow. This portends ill for what India may encounter shortly.

Do you believe that the general public will show any compassion for the suspension of so many opposition MPs?
Ranjan Adhir Chowdhury: These days, the media follows the government’s lead and moves to its tune. Numerous strategies will be used to skew the data and facts. The Opposition lacks the kind of influence that the ruling party possesses. In this sense, we are undoubtedly a touch behind.

But the general public will quickly become aware of the problem. Fascism in the BJP will spread. The ruling regime is simply trying to portray itself as popular and muscular; it is a very toxic combination.

Opposition MPs were suspended even during Congress rule. In 1989, 63 Lok Sabha were suspended in a day.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury: Comparisons are not right. You have to see the circumstances, the relevancy, and the issues. It (the present situation) is related to a serious security lapse in Parliament. We have been cooperating with this government since day one of this session. You can see the productivity data of this session. The security breach was quite grave and our simple demand was for the Home Minister to make a statement. In 2001, the then Home Minister L K Advani had made a statement in Parliament after the December 13 attack.

What now will be the opposition’s plan of action? Will you abstain from the remainder of the session?
Adhir Rajan: The decision will be made during the Opposition floor leaders’ meeting on Tuesday, which Mallikarjun Kharge has called. We will consult with all parties involved. Parliament should not be run by the government. The legislative system has no interest to them at all. Traditions, precedents, and conventions don’t concern them. During interviews with the media, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Home Affairs decided to discuss the security lapse. However, they refuse to speak in the House at all. This kind of attitude is not appropriate for parliamentary procedures. The Opposition won’t stop protesting. Allow them to suspend us all so that Modi can finish his century.

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