Two more opposition members suspended from LS; total 143 suspended from both Houses


India, All India

Thomas Chazhikadan of the Kerala Congress (Mani) and A M Ariff of the CPI(M) were suspended on Wednesday

Parliament House complex. (PTI)

New Delhi: Two more opposition members in Lok Sabha were suspended on Wednesday for displaying placards, taking the total number of members of the lower House against whom such action has been taken to 97.With these fresh suspensions, the total number of members suspended from the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha  since December 14 has gone up to 143.

After two men jumped in the Lok Sabha chamber on December 13 and released smoke from canisters, the opposition has been disrupting House proceedings demanding a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah on the security breach.

Thomas Chazhikadan of the Kerala Congress (Mani) and A M Ariff of the CPI(M) were suspended on Wednesday for misconduct after a resolution moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi was adopted by the House.

As many as 49 Lok Sabha MPs were suspended from the House for disrupting proceedings on Tuesday, a day after 78 opposition members were suspended from Parliament.

The action has drawn sharp criticism from the Congress and other parties which accused the BJP government of trying to bulldoze key legislations in an "Opposition-less" Parliament.

Separately, AAP member Sanjay Singh was suspended as a Rajya Sabha member on July 24.

Amid this string of suspensions, a political row broke out on Tuesday after Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee derisively mimicked Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar during the opposition's protest on the stairs of Parliament against the MPs' suspension, drawing strong condemnation from the ruling BJP.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was seen making a video of the performance by Banerjee who appeared to mimic the way Dhankhar walked by leaning forward and made reference to having a spine.

On Wednesday, President Droupadi Murmu joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi in expressing dismay at the incident.

As Dhankhar said in the House that he would not tolerate any insult to Parliament or the constitutional post of vice president, Kalyan Banerjee said he did not intend to hurt anyone with his act in the Parliament complex.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee backed her party colleague, and the Congress slammed what it termed the government's "desperate attempt" to divert attention from the unprecedented suspension of MPs by raising the matter.