Shalini and Rachna went to the parliament today morning. The night before, Sandeep Dixit had informed us that there was to be a discussion on the gas disaster in Lok Sabha, and we’d send him some relevant documents. However, we didn’t know when the session would begin. MP Sayyed Pasha helped us enter the parliament, however we would need a second recommendation to enter the Lok Sabha gallery. The previous day, it was Mr. Abni Roy who took us inside the parliament.
So instead we asked Sathyu, Namdeoji and Rasheeda Aapa to join us, and took endorsements from MPs passing by the Rajya Sabha get. We again met Mr D. Raja, Shyam Benegal, Ms. Kannimozhi, Mani Shankar Aiyer, Anil Dave, and so on. Ravi Shankar Prasad recognized Sathyu and came over and appreciated our work and pledged his support. He said that he’d speak for this issue in the debate in the Rajya Sabha, scheduled for August 11. He also helped us get a pass for the Rajya Sabha. We then took a short break and ate the heavily subsidized food in the canteen, marveling at the prices at which MPs get fed!
A lot of MPs were verbally supportive. We were eventually able to get a pass from the Telugu Desam Party office to enter the Lok Sabha gallery in time for the afternoon debate. A discussion on Common Wealth games was taking place, and they postponed the debate on Bhopal to the next day, August 11. In the Rajya Sabha, the seating was very cramped and soon we came back downstairs to try and get more signatures. By the evening we had endorsements from members of the Congress, RSP, CPI, CPM, DMK, BJP, AIFB, AGP, MDMK, SAD, and some nominated and independent members.
Rachna and Shalini went to meet D Raja of CPI and Mr. Prabhat Jha, the BJP President in Madhya Pradesh, who would both be participating in the Rajya Sabha debate. They then went to meet Mr Ram Vilas Paswan. To all these, they gave some information on Bhopal for the parliamentary debates, and they also requested Mr Paswan to help expedite Sana’s surgery.
The day ended on a more relaxed note for Rasheeda Aapa and Sathyu as they joined the youth from Manzil to speak about Bhopal. Manzil has been long associated since 3-4 years to the Bhopal struggle, coming and performing at our dharnas. Today we spent some time with them and it was mutually rewarding – with young dedicated supporters such as them, we feel our struggle grows stronger by the day.