‘No Dharna’ in Parliament: Why Not Erase Freedom of Speech from Constitution, Says Mahua Moitra 

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Parliament members cannot use the precincts of the House for any demonstration, dharna, strike, fast, or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony, says Parliament Bulletin.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra on Friday criticised and slammed the recent order of the Rajya Sabha stating that demonstrations, dharnas, fast or religious ceremonies can no longer be held in the precincts of Parliament House.

The Parliament in a bulletin published on Thursday, ahead of the Monsoon session, said members cannot use the precincts of the House for any demonstration, dharna, strike, fast, or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony. 

Taking to Twitter Mahua Moitra said, “Why not just remove Gandhiji’s statue from the premises? And erase Article 19(1a) of the Constitution.” 

Article 19(1a) of the Indian Constitution states that all citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression.

The Trinamool MP also attached the Parliament bulletin published on Thursday, ahead of the Monsoon session, which said members cannot use the precincts of the House for any demonstration, dharna, strike, fast, or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony. 

AICC General Secretary Jairam Ramesh was the first one to react to the order. Jairam Ramesh in a tweet shared a copy of the circular and captioned it, “Vishguru’s latest salvo — D(h)arna Mana Hai!”.

This Parliament bulletin restraining members from using Parliament premises for the sake of demonstration, dharna, strike etc comes days after the Lok Sabha Secretariat’s advisory announcing the use of certain words as unparliamentary evoking sharp criticism from the opposition. A new booklet issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat lists out ‘unparliamentary’ words and expressions. 

While Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at the Centre over the list of “unparliamentary” words and termed the compilation the “New Dictionary for New India,” Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien declared he will use those words and dared the government to act against him.

Mahua Moitra. — File photo
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