Opposition boycotts Rajya Sabha, allege their voice is being muzzled

The TMC's remarks comes days after it claimed to have taken credit for playing the facilitator's role in the smooth floor coordination by Opposition parties in the Budget Session. PTI file

Mr. Naidu told Mr. Azad and Congress Deputy leader Anand Sharma that they should explain to the protesting party member but Mr. Rao did not pay heed.

Charging the government of not giving enough coverage to Opposition members in the government-run Rajya Sabha television, the Opposition on Wednesday demanded a probe into the matter.

Mr Naidu said, he wants the House to function effectively and constructively as per parliamentary procedures and also allow any issue to be raised by anybody as per rules and procedures. "The Congress and some other parties have tried to manufacture an issue where none existed".

It listed the instances when the House was adjourned for a longer duration than warranted. However, Ramesh stayed put, forcing repeated adjournments.

He said while the chairpersons have traditionally been "accommodating" for smooth conduction of business, now they do not allow the Opposition MPs to raise these issues in the Zero Hour.

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Mr. Naidu issued a statement in the evening saying no one should have any misgivings about his commitment. "So we have boycotted the House for today to oppose this bias", Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

The letter spoke of infringement of the federal rights as the Rajya Sabha was the Council of the States.

BSP leader Satish Chandra walked in at 2 p.m. into the Rajya Sabha. In fact, counting the cost to the country of India being in perpetual poll mode both in monetary terms and in bringing development work to a virtual standstill, he gestured to the Opposition benches in the best traditions of democracy to say: "Today, we are in power; tomorrow, you may come (to power)... yes, you can come (to power)".

After a joint meeting of the leaders of Opposition, the ruckus continued.

Also on Monday, Ghulam Nabi Azad had accused the government of treating opposition leaders as "potential terrorists", tapping their phones and persecuting opposition leaders by using the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to intimidate them.

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