NEW DELHI: The government will consider proposing revocation of the suspension of eight Rajya Sabha members after they apologise for their behaviour in the Upper House, Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday.
His statement came after a number of opposition parties, led by the Congress, walked out of Rajya Sabha demanding the suspension be revoked.
"Let them apologise, we will consider withdrawing it (suspension)," he told reporters, hitting out at opposition parties for their conduct.
Union minister Thawarchand Gehlot, the leader of the Upper House, criticised opposition parties for blaming the Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson for the incident and said the opposition members were suspended in line with the rules.
If they apologise, the government will request the Chair to consider revoking their suspension, he said, adding that in his long spell in Parliament and state legislature, he had never seen such unruly behaviour.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi refuted suggestions that the government lacked numbers in Rajya Sabha on September 20, when the two farm bills were passed amid a din, asserting that the ruling NDA had 109 members in the House against the Congress-led UPA's 68 with others being 16.
"Opposition's claim that the government had no numbers on Sept 22 in RS stands hollow and exposed. Despite having the number, the government was willing for division of votes. It was Opposition that created the ruckus. On that day, 29 members of UPA and 2 from other parties were absent. This is based on the details of attendance record in RS," he said in a tweet later.
Protesting the suspension of eight opposition members, the Congress was the first to walkout from the House and was later joined by the members of AAP, TMC and Left parties.
"We expected the Congress would oppose such unruly behaviour by opposition members in Rajya Sabha," Prasad said, wondering if the party's "internal politics" is playing out.
What kind of politics is this that a tweet comes from abroad and MPs behave like this, he said, apparently referring to tweets by Rahul Gandhi, who was outside the country accompanying his mother Sonia Gandhi for her medical check-up for days before their return on Tuesday.
"We have never seen a Congress MP dancing on the Rajya Sabha table and tear papers," Prasad said.