Nineteen Opposition MPs in the Rajya Sabha were on Tuesday suspended for creating pandemonium in the House, a day after four Congress MPs were suspended in the Lok Sabha for the rest of the monsoon session till August 12.
The opposition MPs, who have been stalling the proceedings since the start of the session on July 18 to press for immediate discussion on price rise and the levy of the GST on daily essentials, were suspended as they did not heed Deputy Chairman Harvansh's repeated pleas to leave the well of the House and go back to their seats.
This has deepened the standoff between the Opposition and the government, which is maintaining that it is ready to hold the discussion once Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recovers from COVID-19.
Among the suspended MPs, there were seven members of the Trinamool Congress; the rest were from the DMK, the CPM, the CPI and the TRS.
Congress spokesperson Jairam Rajesh reacted with a tweet: "With the suspension of Opposition MPs from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, it is abundantly clear that Modi Sarkar is no mood to allow the Opposition to raise REAL, URGENT issues being faced by the people of our country in Parliament."
TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien said that more than the suspension of MPs, it is democracy that has been suspended.
“It is the Parliament that has been suspended. On Monday, MPs were suspended from the Lok Sabha. This suspension of our Parliament has been done at the behest of two people, who are used to running the Gujarat Gymkhana in Ahmedabad. They want to apply the same rules of the Gymkhana to the Parliament of India,” said Derek.
There were four adjournments with the penalised MPs refusing to leave the House; finally the House was adjourned for the day, without transacting much business.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan had moved a motion seeking to suspend 10 MPs from the Upper House for showing "utter disregard to the House and authority of the chair". But when the motion was to vote, Deputy Chairman Harvansh read out the names of 19 members.
The motion was carried by a voice vote. When some opposition MPs demanded a division of votes, the chair said he would do so if the members returned to their seats and the House was brought to order.
With the MPs refusing to budge, he said it seems they are not interested in the division and declared that the motion has been adopted.
Earlier on Monday, four Congress MPs including Manickam Tagore, Ramya Haridas, Jothimani and TN Prathapan were suspended from the Lok Sabha for the entire Monsoon session for their 'unruly behaviour and disrupting proceedings.'
The MPs were suspended according to Rule 374 on 'unruly and disrespectful behaviour towards the Chair.'
On Friday, the proceeding in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were adjourned several times amid a ruckus by Opposition members over issues of inflation, price rise and GST hike on daily essentials.
Both the Houses are witnessing continuous adjournments since the session has begun.
The house was adjourned for an hour today after the suspended opposition MPs did not leave and continued to protest.
The suspension of the 19 Rajya Sabha MPs is all but sure to anatgonise the opposition's even further against the government, over what they claim was an attempt to shut voices that question the ruling alliance.
Interestingly, unlike the 4 MPs who were suspended for the rest of the session on Monday, none of the 19 MPs suspended for the week today are from the Congress Party.
List of suspended MPs:
Sushmita Dev, Trinamool Congress
Mausam Noor, Trinamool Congress
Shanta Chhetri, Trinamool Congress
Dola Sen, Trinamool Congress
Santanu Sen, Trinamool Congress
Abhi Ranjan Biswar, Trinamool Congress
Md. Nadimul Haque, Trinamool Congress
M Hamamed Abdulla, DMK
B Lingaiah Yadav, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)
A.A. Rahim, CPI(M)
Ravihandra Vaddiraju, TRS
S Kalyanasundaram, DMK
R Girranjan, DMK
NR Elango, DMK
V Sivadasan, CPI(M)
M Shanmugam, DMK
Damodar Rao Divakonda, TRS
Sandosh Kumar P, CPI
Kanimozhi NVN Somu, DMK