New Delhi: Seven Congress MPs were suspended from Lok Sabha on Thursday for the rest of the budget session on charges of gross misconduct. Motion in this regard was passed by a voice vote in the lower house of the Parliament. The seven Congress MPs include Gaurav Gogoi, TN Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, R Unnithan, Manickam Tagore, Benny Behnan and Gurjeet Singh Aujla.
The suspension came after the MPs' gross misconduct following a ruckus in the Lok Sabha over the issue of Delhi Violence. The MPs snatched papers from the Speaker's table and "utter disregard" for House rules, reported news agency PTI. Following the suspension, the house was adjourned for the day.
As soon as the House met at 3 pm following an adjournment, Meenakshi Lekhi, who was presiding the House, named Gaurav Gogoi, T N Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, Manicka Tagore, Rajmohan Unnithan, Benny Behanan and Gurjeet Singh Aujla.
Once a member is named by the Chair, he or she cannot attend the House for that day. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi then moved a motion to suspend these members from the House for the remaining period of the Budget session.
The motion was passed by a voice vote amid protests by opposition members. Lekhi then asked the seven members to leave Lok Sabha chambers immediately and then adjourned the House for the day.
The opposition parties are demanding a discussion over the Delhi Violence, which took place last week, but were hugely upset after the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla refused to hold a discussion on the issue any time before Holi. Terming the time as 'not right' for such discussions, the Speaker had said that the government will discuss the issue on March 11, the day after Holi.
Following the decision to suspend seven MPs, Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, as quoted by news agency ANI said, "Is this a dictatorship? It seems Govt doesn't want Delhi violence issue to be discussed in Parliament that is why this suspension. We strongly condemn this".
He also alleged that this decision is not taken by the Speaker but was ordered by the government, and said, "This is not the Speaker's decision but a decision taken by the government. We will not be bowing down to this suspension, adding, our fight against the government will go on both inside the Parliament and outside."
Meanwhile, calling the conduct of some Congress members in Lok Sabha as "unprecedented", the BJP welcomed the decision to suspend seven "unruly" members of the opposition party from the House for the remainder of the session.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said his party has requested Speaker Om Birla to set up a panel to look into the continuous "indiscipline" by Congress members. "Snatching papers from the Speaker's table is utmost disrespect to the Chair. We condemn this," he said as reported by PTI.
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