Opposition slams govt for continuing RS proceedings after Congress MP fainted

According to the Rajya Sabha MPs, Phulo Devi Netam's blood pressure had shot up to 214/140, which the doctor said was "stroke level"

Jagdeep Dhankhar during the ongoing Parliament session on 28 June (photo: PTI)
Jagdeep Dhankhar during the ongoing Parliament session on 28 June (photo: PTI)


Objecting to the Rajya Sabha continuing its proceedings after a member fainted in the House and was taken to the hospital, the Opposition MPs on Friday, 28 June, accused the government of showing a total lack of concern towards the member.  

The Opposition parties staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha after the Chair refused to adjourn the House even as MP Phulo Devi Netam fainted and was taken to the hospital.

This came as the entire opposition staged a protest in the Upper House demanding a debate on the NEET issue.

Netam, a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress from Chhattisgarh, fainted while the opposition leaders were protesting demanding an immediate discussion on the NEET issue.

According to the Rajya Sabha MPs, Netam's blood pressure had shot up to 214/140, which the doctor said was "stroke level". She was taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and admitted in the ICU.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge later met Netam in the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital where she was admitted and said that she was recovering.

Kharge slammed the government for not respecting the MPs and condemned the attitude. 

"Talking about compassion with this government and this Parliament, especially the Rajya Sabha... There is no compassion for people. They continued the House, they did not come to see what happened," Kharge said.

"We also want to run the House, but what is their way of doing it... a member fainted, they did not even look at what was happening. They adjourned the house for a few minutes and yet did not express any concern over the incident," he added. 

"This is not the way a member should be treated, the respect that should be given is missing and I condemn the attitude," he said. 

Kharge also informed reporters that Netam was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and was recovering. A CT scan was done to check if the brain was affected and more investigations will be done over the next few days.  

Talking about the incident, Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury said Netam had fainted while protesting and slammed the Rajya Sabha Chairman for continuing the House even after a member had to be rushed to hospital.

"A member of Parliament fainted, the Parliament doctor saw her blood pressure was at stroke level. Some MPs are going to the hospital to take care of her, but the House will go on proceeding... There is no value in the life of a person, a member of the Parliament, a woman," Chowdhury said.

"Are they disposable commodities? They can run the House as and when they like. Is this democracy? Humanity and social decency says if a member has fainted, the MPs should accompany them. The House can run after that," she added.  

DMK leader Tiruchi Siva said they were forced to walkout.

"We gave notices under Rule 267 to discuss the NEET issue... But they didn't allow it. Opposition parties were raising slogans which is nothing abnormal. Ruling party did not yield to that. Phulo Devi suddenly fainted, even after that they are continuing the debate," Siva said.

"In over two decades in the Parliament, I have never come across anything like this. Chair used to listen to the opposition parties. Both sides should be treated equally, there should be a balance. Now everything is tilted to one side. Even after such an incident, the House continues. What are they going to achieve?" he asked.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Sagarika Ghose said there was total lack of concern from the government when the MP fainted.

"Her blood pressure was at the level of getting a stroke. If someone is in such bad condition, some mercy should be shown. They are not showing any mercy, they are continuing to run the House, so we walked out in protest because she became unconscious, fell on the floor and there has been such lack of concern from the government, it is inhuman," she said.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MP Mahua Majhi said that she accompanied Netam in the ambulance, adding she has been admitted to the ICU and is recovering.

"She was given medicine. She is now in the ICU and recovering. She will be under observation for some time," Majhi said.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) also joined the INDIA bloc parties in the protest demanding discussion on the NEET exam, as well as the walkout.

"We wanted a debate on NEET. When it was not done, we went to the House, protested, that was not allowed. Thereafter an honourable member fainted while she was in the Well. She has been shifted to the RML. We urged the House to be adjourned but that was not done, so we all opposition parties walked out in protest," said BJD leader Sasmit Patra. 

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