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Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday suspended eight Opposition members of Parliament (MPs) for rest of the ongoing monsoon session for “unruly behaviour" during Sunday’s heated debate in the Upper House on two controversial farm bills, even as Opposition MPs continued their protest in the House on Monday.

Naidu also rejected a no-confidence motion moved against Harivansh, the deputy chairman of the House, by 12 Opposition parties.

The MPs who were suspended are Derek O’ Brien and Dola Sen of the Trinamool Congress, Sanjay Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party, Rajiv Satav, Ripun Bora, and Syed Nasir Hussain of the Congress, and K.K. Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

“They are suspended for unruly behaviour with the Chair," Naidu said. “It is unfortunate, unacceptable and condemnable. It tarnished the image of Parliament, particularly the House of the Elders. I suggest to members of Parliament, please do some introspection. I was so pained yesterday, All social distancing and covid-19 related precautions were violated by some members of the House yesterday. What happened yesterday defies logic. It was a really bad day for the Rajya Sabha. Some members came to well of the House, threw paper, reached (for the) mike of the deputy chairman, hurled papers at him and abused him. The rule book was thrown at him. Some of the members also accepted outside that they did it," he said.

“History shows that whenever a Chairman, Deputy Chairman or Speaker gives any ruling, it is binding on everyone. But the Opposition’s actions show they do not have trust in any democratic institutions," parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters on Monday.

The rest of the sitting of the Rajya Sabha on Monday saw continued disruption and repeated adjournments. Proceedings were finally adjourned for the day without any key legislative business being transacted. The Opposition, especially the eight suspended MPs, who termed the move an attack on democratic practices, continued its protests till late Monday evening. Their dharna is expected to continue overnight .

Those opposed to the farm bills knocked the doors of President’s house on Monday. Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal met President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him not to give his assent to the two bills passed by the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

The Congress on Monday held a meeting of its senior leaders, including general secretaries and state in-charges, on the ongoing controversy, including protests by farm organizations. “The Congress is planning a national agitation in support of farmers. This includes state level agitations and submission of memorandums. We should observe 2 October as Kisan Majdoor Bachao Divas," K.C. Venugopal, general secretary in-charge of organization, told reporters on Monday. All state units will hold farmers’ gatherings on 10 October, he added. There is also a plan to collect 20 million signatures of farmers supporting their cause, which will be submitted on 14 November to the President.

anuja@livemint.com

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