14 Opposition MPs suspended from LS for disrupting proceedings

New Delhi: As many as 14 opposition MPs were suspended from Parliament for the remainder of the session for disrupting proceedings as the Lok Sabha security breach incident snowballed into a major row on Thursday with the government asking the opposition not to “politicise” the “grave national issue” and the Congress, TMC and others demanding a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah.

While TMC’s Derek O’Brien was suspended in Rajya Sabha, as many as 13 opposition MPs, including nine from the Congress and DMK’s Kanimozhi, were suspended from Lok Sabha for disrupting the proceedings.

Amid opposition protests, demanding a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the security breach incident, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved two resolutions separately for the suspension of the MPs for disrupting the Lok Sabha proceedings.

The MPs had moved into the Well of the Lok Sabha raising slogans, questioning the security breach, and demanding a statement from the government.

While T N Prathapan, Hibi Eden, Jothimani, Ramya Haridas and Dean Kuriakose, all from the Congress, were suspended when the first resolution was adopted, four Congress MPs –VK Sreekandan, Benny Behanan, Mohammed Jawaid and Manickam Tagore– along with PR Natarajan (CPI-M), Kanimozhi (DMK), K Subbarayan (CPI), SR Parthiban (DMK) and S Venkatesan (CPI-M) were suspended through the second resolution.

However, later the Lok Sabha withdrew the suspension of Parthiban as he was not present in the House and his name was included by mistake.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said Parthiban’s name has been withdrawn from the list of the suspended Lok Sabha members as there was a mistake on the part of the staff in identifying the member.

“I have requested the Speaker to drop the name of the member as it was a case of mistaken identity,” Joshi said.

Earlier in a statement, Joshi said “We all agree” that the unfortunate incident on Wednesday was a serious one concerning the safety and security of MPs.

The minister said it should be appreciated that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla promptly held a meeting with floor leaders following the incident and listened to the suggestions for further strengthening Parliament security.

Some of the suggestions given by MPs have already been implemented, he said, and noted that the Speaker himself has stated that further measures will be taken to strengthen the security of Parliament.

“In my opinion, this matter concerns all of us and we have to speak in one voice,” Joshi said.

On such a “grave national issue”, no politics is expected to be done by anyone, the minister asserted. Joshi called for rising above party politics.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Leader of the House and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha that all should come together and condemn the incident and there is no point in protesting in the House.

“All have condemned it. We need to be careful… we should not give passes to those who create disturbances,” Singh said amid the din.

Soon after the Rajya Sabha House met at noon after an adjournment, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar warned O’Brien against his unruly behaviour and for disrupting the proceedings. He asked O’Brien to leave the House, but the opposition MP did not relent and protested instead.

The chairman then allowed Leader of the House Piyush Goyal to move a motion to suspend O’Brien under Rule 256. The motion to suspend O’Brien for the remainder of the session was adopted with a voice vote.

O’Brien did not leave the Rajya Sabha chambers even after suspension and the matter of his conduct was referred to the Privileges Committee of the House. The committee has been asked to submit a report on O’Brien’s conduct in three months.

On Wednesday, two persons jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the visitors’ gallery, shouted slogans and released coloured smoke from canisters that triggered panic and chaos in the House.

Joshi also listed past incidents when such breach of security has happened in Parliament, noting that incidents such as slogan-shouting, throwing of papers and jumping from the gallery have happened in the past also.

“In the past also, many such incidents have taken place. I am not comparing past incidents and defending yesterday’s incident but we have to learn lessons from the past,” he said.

On April 11, 1974, one person shouted slogans from the visitors’ gallery, besides carrying two pistols, one object looking like a bomb and some pamphlets, Joshi said.

He said that on July 26, 1974, a person was caught with a dagger trying to enter the visitors’ gallery.

On November 26, 1974, a person carried an explosive and a dagger to the visitors’ gallery, he pointed out.

On January 9 and 10, 1999, two people jumped from the public gallery to the Lok Sabha chamber, Joshi said.

Asserting that the Speaker is the custodian of the Parliament House complex, the minister said internal security of Parliament House is under the purview of the Speaker.

“I want to emphasis that in the past also all such matters have been dealt with as per the directions of the Speaker…This incident is clearly a grave contempt of this House and this House is at liberty to deal with as per the Constitution and the rules of procedure of the conduct of business,” Joshi said.

From the point of view of the violation of other laws, appropriate agencies will be dealing with this incident as per the law of the land, he added.

The minister informed the House that the Speaker has written a letter to the Home Secretary for a high-level inquiry and the probe has already begun.

Joshi also said that it has become the habit of some members to politicise all issues. “I request them not to politicise the issue,” he said.

He said that the Speaker and the government both are dealing with the matter sensitively.

“I request that proceedings be taken forward. I urge them (opposition) to take it forward and debate take place on an important bill,” he said.

Joshi also said when the business of the House had shifted to the new Parliament building, the Speaker had proposed at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) that the members have to work with a fresh resolve of not showing placards in the House. “This proposal was unanimously agreed to. Nobody had opposed it,” he added.

The 13 MPs in Lok Sabha violated the decision taken at the BAC meeting and brought placards to the House and hence, they were suspended, the minister said.

The suspended MPs also protested in Lok Sabha following their suspension and the adjournment of the House for the day. They raised slogans against the government and demanded a statement from the Home Minister.

“Asking the Home Minister to answer when our Parliament is breached and our security is compromised now attracts suspension from the house. You can’t manage National Security and suspend us for taking up the issue when you fail to do your job! Shame!” Jawaid said in a post on X along with a video of their protest inside the House after the adjournment

Three bills seeking to replace the existing criminal laws were listed for discussion in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.


Related Articles