Suspension of 25 MPs new low in House history

Suspension of 25 MPs new low in House history

The suspension of 25 Congress MPs by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan marks the second low in the infamous history of Parliament.

Mahajan suspended the MPs for five working days on Monday by invoking Rule 374 (A) that empowers presiding officers to penalise members for causing grave disorder by “coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans”.

To suspend MPs beyond five days, the Speaker has to move a motion for the House to adopt.

On July 27, Mahajan had suspended West Bengal Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for rest of the day for “insulting” the chair after he banged a placard on her table in the House. The Speaker handed out a milder punishment, despite the BJP wanted that he should be barred from attending the entire monsoon session.

The opposition party has taken a strong stand against Modi’s government refusal to sack External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje (over Lalitgate) and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (over Vyapam scam).

Defending the Speaker’s move, a senior minister said the first time a large scale suspension took place was during a budget session of Lok Sabha in 1989 when parliamentary affairs minister HKL Bhagat moved a motion for naming and suspending 58 MPs following commotion over the tabling of the Thakkar Commission report.  Later five more were suspended bringing the total figure to 63 on the same issue.

In the winter session of 2014, 17 MPs – eight belonging to Andhra Pradesh and nine of Telangana region – were suspended for disrupting House on the issue of carving out separate state of Telangana.

A year prior to that, 12 MPs were suspended. Tall leaders such as socialist icon Dir Ram Manohar Lohia and his follower Madhu Limaye were suspended. Besides, as per government parliamentary statistic, there are other instances of penalising errant MPs in 1963, 1972, and 1987 as well.

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