Terming the recent suicide by Dadra & Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar as a ‘strike on the dignity of Parliament, NCP MP Supriya Sule on Wednesday urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to refer to the Committee on Privileges the late MPs allegations made in Parliament.
“We have lost a fellow member. It is not just a loss of life, but also a strike on the dignity of Parliament. The independence and supremacy of the Parliament rests on the discharge of duties by its members free of any fear or duress,” Sule said.
In a memorandum to the Speaker, Sule and other MPs said that all the members are shocked by the tragic death of the senior member Delkar, a 7-time Lok Sabha representative from the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
“The fact that a 7-time Member of Lok Sabha was frustrated to such an extent that it would drive him to extreme despair and steps to end his is traumatic for all of us,” the memorandum said.
Sule also recalled Delkar’s last speech in parliament in Sep. 2020, when he had expressly mentioned “the pressure and humiliation mounted on him by the officials” of the UT.
She pointed out that as the Speaker, Birla was the Custodian of the House and it was “collectively incumbent on all of us” to ensure that the dignity and independence of the august institution is not eroded.
Requesting the Speaker to take cognizance of Delkar’s death and ensure that such incidents are averted in future, Sule urged him to refer to the Committee on Privileges the late MP’s allegations made in the Lok Sabha.
The memorandum is signed by MPs from other parties including Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, members of Shiv Sena, DMK and BSP.
Sule, MP from Baramati and daughter of Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, said that the Maharashtra government has entrusted the Delkar probe to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which would investigate the matter and give justice.
However, she assured that the enquiry by the Privileges Committee would have no bearing on the criminal investigations by the SIT as it would probe the reasons that lay impediments in discharging of duties by the MP.
Sule’s plea to the Speaker came shortly after the Maharashtra government this morning lodged a formal complaint in the case and has booked the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Administrator Praful K. Patel in the matter.
On Tuesday, Delkar’s widow, son and daughter called on state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh seeking justice following which the state government said it would form a SIT to probe the case.
Delkar, 58, was found hanging in a hotel room in Mumbai on Feb. 22, triggering a huge uproar in national political circles.
Earlier, he had released a video statement detailing how he was being harassed, humiliated, targetted by the UT administration, police and various probe agencies, attempts to book him and his supporters in fake cases, but when he enquired the reasons for the witch-hunt, he was told that “Upar Se Order Aaya Hai”.
After the IANS first highlighted his plight (February 23) in detail, the Maharashtra Congress and Shiv Sena demanded a detailed probe into Delkar’s suicide and a suicide note in which he had named the UT Administrator.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: email@example.com)