Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that the suspension of 12 Opposition MPs from Rajya Sabha showed that voices are being crushed by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government, reported ANI.

“They [the suspended MPs] have done nothing wrong,” Gandhi said during a protest march against the suspensions outside Parliament. “We are not allowed to discuss important issues in Parliament.”

The MPs were suspended on November 29 for allegedly being unruly and violent during the Monsoon Session in August. The session was marked by disruptions in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha because of the Pegasus spyware row and the farm laws.

The suspended MPs are Elamaram Kareem of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Congress’ Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, R Bora, Rajamani Patel, Syed Nasir Hussain and Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Communist Party of India’s Binoy Viswam, Trinamool Congress’ Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri, and Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi and Anil Desai.

Opposition parties have been protesting against the suspension for the last two weeks and have now intensified their agitation, according to the Hindustan Times.

On Tuesday, Gandhi claimed that the MPs were not suspended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu but they were just implementers of the decision.

“They have been suspended by the powers who wanted to steal the income of the farmers,” he alleged. Gandhi claimed that these “powers” were two-three “capitalists”, without naming them .

Before the march began, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge told the Hindustan Times that daily protests will continue through different forms of satyagraha, or non-violent agitation.

“We have to tell the people why our people were suspended and how wrongly they have been kept out of the House,” Kharge told the Hindustan Times. “Our fight will continue and find other methods like a march or asking all political parties addressing to the press.”

In Parliament, Kharge said the Opposition has repeatedly requested the chair to reconsider the suspension of the MPs. However, he said that the government has not conceded to the requests.

“You are the custodian of this House, the government cannot dictate what we should do or not do,” Kharge told Naidu.

The chairperson then adjourned the House till 12 pm, reported The Hindu.

When the proceedings resumed at noon, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal said Kharge was making allegations and wrong statements.

“They should not think that we have not responded,” Goyal said. “We constantly tried speaking to the Leader of Opposition and members but they are making statements that they will not apologise as they have not done anything wrong.”

The proceedings in the Upper House was again adjourned till 2 pm amid sloganeering by Opposition parties demanding the withdrawal of suspension orders.

Why were the MPs suspended?

The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which ended two days before its schedule on August 11, saw several disruptions as the government and the Opposition had reached an impasse over discussion on allegations that the Pegasus spyware was used to monitor several politicians, journalists and activists in India as well as the farm laws, which have now been revoked.

The bedlam peaked in the Rajya Sabha on August 11 as Opposition MPs physically clashed with security personnel.

A joint statement by a group of MPs accused the government of bringing in “outsiders not part of Parliament security” in order to “manhandle Opposition leaders and members, including women parliamentarians”.

The government, on the other hand, blamed the Opposition for creating a ruckus.

After the session was adjourned sine die, a delegation of Union ministers reiterated their demand for action against the Opposition MPs. Naidu had reportedly then said he will examine the matter and then decide on an appropriate course of action.