Obstruction is the destruction of parliamentary democracy, said Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday, PTI reported.

His statement comes after the Upper House witnessed repeated protests, adjournments and subsequent suspension of 23 Opposition MPs in the current Monsoon Session.

The Opposition has been staging protests since the Monsoon Session started on July 18, seeking discussions on inflation and tax increases on several goods and services.

On July 26, 19 Opposition legislators were suspended from the Rajya Sabha for the rest of the week for repeatedly disrupting the House proceedings. A day later, Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh was suspended from the Rajya Sabha for the rest of the week for showing “unruly behaviour” in the House.

On July 28, three more Opposition MPs were suspended from the House for the rest of the week for disrupting proceedings.

In the first week of the Monsoon Session, which started on July 18, the productivity of the Rajya Sabha was 26.90%, according to a PTI report. The figures fell to 16.49% in the second week.

So far, 10 sittings have been conducted in the Rajya Sabha, but the House has functioned for only 11 hours and eight minutes out of the scheduled 51 hours and 35 minutes, the secretariat said. The remaining 40 hours and 45 minutes were lost in disruptions, the officials added.

Meanwhile, Naidu on Saturday said that the Central government and the Opposition should work towards effective functioning of the Parliament, PTI reported.

“The world is looking at India which is on the move,” he said at an inauguration ceremony of a two-day orientation programme for newly-elected members of the House. “Political differences should not be allowed to affect the functioning of the House.”

He also said that the legislators need to show mutual respect and accommodate each other to ensure discipline and enhance the dignity of the House.

“Disruptions only hurt the interests of the parliamentarians,” he added.

Naidu also said that members rushing to the Well of the House and displaying placards to protest the government and its policies is “not graceful to parliamentary democracy”.

Naidu feels that unruly scenes of the MPs should not be live telecast, PTI reported.