Editorial: Respect democracy

After the opposition decided to boycott the Rajya Sabha, its eight suspended MPs on Tuesday ended their overnight sit-in inside the Parliament House complex and said they would take their fight against the farm bills to the street.

The suspended members, who spent the night on the lawns near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue, got a surprise visitor in the morning — Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh who came with tea and snacks.

Till late night, the protesting MPs raised slogans and sang songs while a host of Opposition leaders such as National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Samajwadi Party’s Jaya Bachchan and Congress’ Ahmed Patel, Digvijaya Singh and Shashi Tharoor visited them to express their support.

But their morning visitor did not receive the same enthusiastic response. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Harivansh’s gesture was proof of his greatness, and added that his inspiring’ and statesmanlike’ conduct will make every democracy lover proud.

The PM tweeted, “To personally serve tea to those who attacked and insulted him a few days ago as well as those sitting on Dharna shows that Shri Harivansh Ji has been blessed with a humble mind and a big heart. It shows his greatness. I join the people of India in congratulating Harivansh Ji.”

Several old-timers said was the first such overnight protest in the complex. Harivansh has been in the thick of things since the suspension drama unfolded. Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had rejected a notice for a no-confidence motion against Harivansh as it was not in proper format and did not give a 14-day notice period. Parliament is a place to discuss, debate and decide.

Creating ruckus and dramatic scenes inside and outside the House is the least thing one would expect from MPs. Differences should be sorted out with dialogue in the best interest of democracy.


NT Bureau