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Suspended TMC MP Derek O’Brien Says Govt ‘Slow-Poisoning’ Democracy

A day after being suspended from the Rajya Sabha for the remaining part of the Winter Session, Trinamool Congress floor leader in the House Derek O’Brien on Wednesday accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of “mocking at and dismantling democracy” and “slow-poisoning Parliament”.

O’Brien was suspended from the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday for the remaining part of the session for the “grave misconduct” of hurling a Rajya Sabha rule book at the Chair during a discussion on the electoral reforms bill.

He, on Wednesday, joined the dharna of the 12 suspended opposition MPs at the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex. These MPs were suspended for the entire session on November 29 for their “unruly” conduct in the previous session in August.

They have been holding day-long protests in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex and decided to continue to do so every day till their suspension is revoked. These 12 MPs also carried out a ‘Jan Sansad’ at the spot as a mark of protest against their suspension.

Joining the dharna, the TMC MP said, “This government has tried to manufacture a majority in the Upper House by suspending 12 MPs. Under this dispensation, democracy is being mocked and dismantled every day. They are giving slow-poison to Parliament.”

About the Bill proposing linking electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem, O’Brien said it will expose the mobile phone numbers of voters through which their social media profiling can easily be done.

The Parliament on Tuesday passed the bill in Rajya Sabha in a voice vote, amid a walkout by the opposition. It was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on Wednesday, a day ahead of the scheduled end of the Winter Session of Parliament, with Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu lamenting that the Upper House functioned much below its potential due to repeated disruptions.

The session, which started on November 29, was scheduled to conclude on December 23.

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