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TMC MP Derek O’Brien suspended from Parliament for ‘unruly behaviour’

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

TMC MP Derek O’Brien has been suspended from Rajya Sabha for the remaining part of the current Session for ‘unruly behaviour’ in the House.

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The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021, passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday and in the Lok Sabha on Monday, seeks to link electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem. The bill was opposed by Opposition parties.Derek O’Brien quoted extensively from the rulebook to argue that the bill was being rammed through the Rajya Sabha without enough notice to members.

“(Derek O’Brien) flung the rulebook furiously in the direction of the Chair. The rulebook would have hit the Chair, or Secretary General, or officials sitting at the table,” said Sasmit Patra, who was presiding over the house at the time.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal, the leader of the Rajya Sabha, said: “The way TMC leader Derek O’Brien has thrown the rule book, this is not only the insult of the chair or the secretary general or the table or the House, it is an insult to the entire country.”

But Mr O’Brien, reacting to the allegation, snapped: “Oh! Really? Who said I threw the rulebook? Show me the footage.” He went on to demonstrate, with a bottle, what the act of “throwing” is.

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He said the government had railroaded the bill much like it did the controversial farm laws, which were recently taken back.

In a series of tweets, Mr O’Brien hit out at the government over his suspension.

“The last time I got suspended from RS was when the government was BULLDOZING farm laws. We all know what happened after that. Today, suspended while protesting against BJP making a mockery of parliament and BULLDOZING the Election Laws Bill 2021. Hope this Bill too will be repealed soon,” Mr O’Brien tweeted.

“After breaking every rule and precedent, BJP has the gall to give lectures about the Rule Book. Irony just died. (Only two people at the funeral) Guess who,” he wrote.

He also tweeted a video of his arguments in the house.

In the video, Mr O’Brien was seen citing the rulebook to argue that the election reforms bill — Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 – had been brought in the house without enough notice. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha yesterday amid fierce opposition protests.

“Has been available for two days before the day the motion is made?

If a bill is passed in the Lok Sabha at 3 pm. Where is the time provided?

This bill cannot be listed today. But anything can be done… you can also manufacture a majority,” the Trinamool Congress leader said.

“Where have I got the time, as a member of this house, to put in a resolution to send this bill to a select committee? There is nothing left! You want to bring a bill. This is a hopeless bill…”

Harivansh Narayan Singh, the Chair at the time, said the bill had been allowed at shorter notice under the rules.

After walking out of the house in a huff, Mr O’Brien tweeted a mobile phone video alleging that the government was bulldozing legislation.

“Rajya Sabha TV is being censored. All opposition MPs are in the well of the Rajya Sabha, objecting to the bill linking Aadhaar with voter ID. The government is bulldozing it. Like the farm bills, a mockery is being made out of parliament. This is worse than Emergency. TV is being censored, parliament is being killed,” said the Trinamool leader, adding that he had been forced to come out and record himself on the phone.

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