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Shashi Tharoor steps down as Sansad TV show host till suspension of Rajya Sabha MPs revoked

Shashi Tharoor steps down as Sansad TV show host till suspension of Rajya Sabha MPs revoked

Delhi: Expressing solidarity with the 12 suspended Rajya Sabha MPs, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday said he has decided to suspend hosting of talk show 'To the Point' that is aired on Sansad TV.

In a statement issued on Monday, Tharoor added that he has decided to step down until the suspension of the legislators is revoked and a "semblance of bipartisanship restored to the conduct of Parliament".

"I believed that my accepting Sansad TV's invitation to host a show was in the best traditions of India's parliamentary democracy, reaffirming the principle that our political differences did not prevent us, as Members of Parliament, from participating fully in various parliamentary institutions which belong to us all," the MP from Thiruvananthapuram further said in the statement.

"However, the prolonged suspension of 12 MPs from the Rajya Sabha, expelled in an arbitrary manner for actions committed during a previous session, has called into question the very assumption of a bipartisan spirit animating the work of Parliament," he added.

His statement comes a day after Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, who is among the 12 suspended Rajya Sabha MPs, said she has stepped down as the anchor of the Sansad TV's show "Meri Kahaani".

Chaturvedi, in a letter dated December 5 to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, said, "After my arbitrary suspension, that has totally disgraced established parliamentary norms and rules, to stifle my voice, my party's voice inside the chamber, I am unwilling to continue taking space on Sansad TV when my primary oath to the Constitution is being denied to me."

The 12 opposition MPs, six from the Congress, two each from the Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena and one each from the CPI and CPI(M), were suspended from the Rajya Sabha last Monday for the entire Winter Session of Parliament for their "unruly" conduct in the previous session in August.

The opposition has said the suspension was "undemocratic and in violation of all the Rules of Procedure" of the Upper House.

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