Congress MP Rajani Patil suspended from Rajya Sabha for recording proceedings
Opposition MPs defended her saying that the Rajya Sabha TV was biased in covering the proceedings of the House.
Congress MP Rajani Patil was on Friday suspended from the Rajya Sabha for the remainder of the Budget Session for videographing proceedings of the House a day earlier, PTI reported.
Leader of the House and Union minister Piyush Goyal moved a motion seeking Patil’s suspension. “An unfortunate incident has happened yesterday where it has been found that on social media, we are seeing a video recorded in this august House, in a very very unfortunate manner showing senior members of Parliament in poor light,” he said.
Patil had posted a video of the ruckus that erupted in the Rajya Sabha when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was replying to the motion of thanks on the president’s address on Thursday, ANI reported. Opposition MPs were protesting his government’s alleged patronage of the embattled Adani Group and sought an investigation into claims of stock manipulation and accounting fraud.
But the Rajya Sabha TV, which is the only medium that provides visuals of House proceedings, only showed fleeting visuals of the Opposition protest and maintained its focus on Modi, the treasury benches and the chair.
On Friday, Opposition MPs defended Patil saying that the Rajya Sabha TV was biased in covering the proceedings of the House. However, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar suspended Patil, saying that she had “engaged in this unwholesome activity”.
Dhankhar told the House that the Privileges Committee of Rajya Sabha will look into the matter.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge urged him not to take decisions based on pressure from the treasury bench. “First [there can be] inquiry, and then after inquiry, if the member is guilty, you can warn, if it is the first time, you can forgive, you can also warn....So, I request you not to pursue this matter further,” he added.
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav also said that similar incidents have happened several times. “Mountains are not going to fall,” he said. “I pray to you not to take this incident seriously.”
Dhankhar maintained that she was suspended following the procedure that had been evolved in 2016, when then Aam Aadmi Party MP Bhagwant Maan was found live-streaming proceedings of Parliament on social media.
Mann, now the chief minister of Punjab, was suspended for the entire session based on the recommendations of a committee comprising former Bhartiya Janata Party MP Kirit Somaiya and Congress leader KC Venugopal, among others.
Addressing reporters, Patil said she was given “faansi ki sazaa” or capital punishment for no fault of hers.
She also alleged that her suspension was part of a “sponsored programme” since Opposition MPs had interrupted Modi’s speech several times shouting slogans.
“The way the discussion is taking place, I feel if a mistake has been committed by someone unknowingly, if you give such a big punishment by taking name...Someone who comes from the family of freedom fighters...has no right to stay here,” she added.