Lok Sabha suspends 7 Congress MPs for 'gross misconduct'; Opposition continues protests seeking immediate discussion on Delhi violence

Seven Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha were suspended for the rest of the Budget session, as ruckus disrupted proceedings in the Lower House for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday. The MPs including Gaurav Gogoi, TN Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, R Unnithan, Manickam Tagore, Benny Behnan, and Gurjeet Singh Aujla, were suspended on charges of 'gross misconduct', reports said.

FP Staff March 05, 2020 16:39:58 IST
Lok Sabha suspends 7 Congress MPs for 'gross misconduct'; Opposition continues protests seeking immediate discussion on Delhi violence
  • The Lok Sabha passed a motion suspending the MPs after they snatched papers from Speaker's table

  • The current session is scheduled to end on 3 April

  • Suspended MP Gogoi said, 'Suspend us for a year, but discuss the Delhi riots and heal wounds of people.'

Seven Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha were suspended for the rest of the Budget session, as ruckus disrupted proceedings in the Lower House for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday. The MPs, including Gaurav Gogoi, TN Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, R Unnithan, Manickam Tagore, Benny Behnan, and Gurjeet Singh Aujla, were suspended on charges of "gross misconduct", reports said.

The Lok Sabha passed a motion suspending the MPs after they snatched papers from the Speaker's table, PTI reported. The current session is scheduled to end on 3 April.

While Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, said that the party members had done nothing wrong, suspended MP Gogoi said, "Suspend us for a year, but discuss the Delhi riots and heal wounds of people."

He also tweeted, "Suspend me, but please discuss Delhi riots tomorrow. Show your accountability towards the very people who voted for you. No matter the number, my party Congress derives its strength from our commitment towards Bharat Mata and we will continue to seek justice from Prime Minister Modi."

Meanwhile, the BJP welcomed the decision to suspend the "unruly" members and said that their conduct in the Lower House was "unprecedented". 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 told reporters. Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the "unruly" behaviour of the Congress MPs would have shocked the country's founding fathers. "We welcome the decision to suspend the unruly Congress members," he added.

As soon as the House met at 3 pm following an adjournment, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who was presiding over the House, named the seven members. Once a member is named by the Chair, he or she cannot attend the House for that day.

The Parliamentary Affairs minister 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 the Lok Sabha chambers immediately and then adjourned the House for the day.

The Hindu reported that Congress MPs were also demanding the suspension of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MP Hanuman Beniwal for his remark on the Gandhi family, when he said that the government should find out "whether coronavirus was spread from Sonia Gandhi's family in Italy".

The report said, "As Rama Devi, who was in the chair, continued to run the proceedings of the House, Congress members intensified sloganeering saying, 'Suspend the MP, Modi Sarkar shame shame’."

The Lok Sabha has seen a slew of disruptions over the Delhi violence since the current session began on 2 March. Opposition MPs demanded a discussion in the House over the spate of violence that gripped northeast Delhi for three days since 23 February.

While Birla insisted that the House would discuss the issue on 11 March, Opposition and Treasury MPs also pushed and shoved each other amid the ruckus.

With inputs from agencies

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