'Had Raised Gujarat Hooch Tragedy in House,' Says Suspended AAP MP Sanjay Singh

AAP's Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab Raghav Chadha described Singh's suspension from the House as a 'throttling of democracy' and said it was unfortunate that the opposition's voice was being suppressed.

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New Delhi: The AAP will continue to raise the “fundamental issues” of the masses, including spurious liquor sale in Gujarat, both in Parliament and on the streets, said party MP Sanjay Singh after his suspension from the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday adopted a motion to suspend the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member for the remaining part of the week for his “unruly behaviour” in the House.

This came a day after he tore some papers and threw them on the Chair during the Opposition’s protest in the Upper House.

The AAP has 10 members in the Rajya Sabha.

Singh’s suspension comes a day after 19 Opposition MPs, including seven from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), six from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), three from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), two from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and one from the Communist Party of India (CPI), were suspended for their unruly behaviour in the Upper House.

Singh said he had raised in the Rajya Sabha the Gujarat hooch tragedy and was “repeatedly requesting the Chair and the government” for an answer on how spurious liquor is being sold in a state where prohibition is in place, but was suspended.

Also Read: Rajya Sabha Adjourned Three Times Before Lunch; AAP MP Sanjay Singh Suspended

The death toll in the tragedy in Gujarat’s Botad district has reached 40.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, both of whom are from Gujarat, could have come and told the House “how spurious liquor trade is going on in Gujarat.”

“I had raised the issue yesterday also. Today, I gave a notice under Rule 267 and was repeatedly requesting the Chair and the government for an answer… But the government did not give any answer. I was suspended,” Singh added.

The AAP member had torn some papers and hurled the pieces towards the Chair during the opposition protest in the Upper House on Tuesday.

Soon after the House met for Question Hour Wednesday noon, Deputy Chairman Harivansh invoked Rule 256 and named Singh for tearing papers and throwing them at the Chair on Tuesday. The deputy chairman said Singh’s action was in utter disregard of the rules and the authority of the Chair.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan moved a motion to suspend Singh from the House for the remainder of the week. The motion was adopted by a voice vote, even as opposition members continued to raise uproar in the well of the House.

The deputy chairman asked Singh to leave the House soon after the motion was adopted.

“I will keep raising the issue of the death of 55 people due to consumption of spurious liquor in Gujarat. This is Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party and we all will together keep raising the fundamental issues of masses, both in Parliament and on the streets,” the AAP’s Rajya Sabha member said after his suspension.

The AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab Raghav Chadha described Singh’s suspension from the House as a “throttling of democracy” and said it was unfortunate that the opposition’s voice was being suppressed.

“The way 24 MPs (20 in Rajya Sabha and four in Lok Sabha) have been suspended for raising public issues. It has never happened in history. We will keep raising people’s issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, AAP leaders and workers held a protest near the party office here against the Gujarat hooch tragedy and demanded immediate resignation of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.

“An illegal business of liquor is thriving in Gujarat under the patronage of the ruling BJP,” Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, who participated in the protest, alleged.

The prime minister should take responsibility for it, he said.

Gautam also slammed the BJP-led Centre over the suspension of AAP MP Sanjay Singh and other opposition members from the Rajya Sabha and alleged that democracy in the country is in danger”.

“The MPs want to raise the issues affecting the masses but they are being suspended,” he said.

Gautam also accused the Centre of suppressing the voice of the people and misusing the CBI, Enforcement Directorate and other agencies by booking false cases against the opposition leaders.

“The BJP is slowly crushing democracy, but the Aam Aadmi Party will not bend. We will fight,” he said.

The Gujarat chief minister should immediately resign, the AAP’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj demanded as he slammed the state BJP over the hooch tragedy.

“The BJP has blood on its hands,” he alleged.

The AAP leader also questioned the prime minister’s silence on the death of people due to consumption of spurious liquor in his home state, calling it “shocking, suspicious and shameful”.

The party had planned to hold the protest in front of the BJP headquarters, but the Delhi Police prevented the protestors from reaching there by putting up barricades near the AAP headquarters.