The entire country should watch this, says Speaker, as MPs throw papers
New Delhi: Amid slogan shouting, high drama and pandemonium, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Monday suspended six Congress MPs for five days for causing “grave disorder” after they stormed into the Well of the House, tore official papers and threw them towards the Chair, in protest over mob lynchings and cow vigilantism.
As the treasury benches shouted “shame, shame” to condemn the Congress MPs, Ms Mahajan said that the conduct of Congress MPs Gaurav Gogoi, K. Suresh, Adhir Rajan Chowdhury, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev and M.K. Raghavan was “highly unbecoming” and had undermined the Chair’s dignity.
The Speaker said she was constrained to name these members due to their behaviour which was in “abuse” of the rules.
“Gaurav Gogoi snatched papers from the table and waived them towards the Chair. K. Suresh snatched papers from the table, tore them up and threw them towards the Chair. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev and M.K. Raghavan tore papers and threw them towards the Chair,” she said in her order.
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“The conduct of the members is highly unbecoming and in abuse of the rules of the House. It seeks to undermine the dignity of the House. These members were persistently and wilfully obstructing the business of the House and have caused grave disorder,” the Speaker noted.
These members, she said, stood automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings under the provisions of Rule 374A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.
The six MPs, along with other lawmakers from their party, the Left and the Trinamul Congress, and the RJD and Samajwadi Party, started protesting against incidents of lynching and mob violence as soon as the proceedings of the Lok Sabha began at 11 am.
They had entered the Well of House, seeking a discussion on the matter while raising slogans against the BJP-led government. They squatted in the Well even as Question Hour proceedings continued.
The Speaker, while repeatedly requesting them to go back, said that they will get an opportunity to raise the matter during Zero Hour.
However, the Opposition MPs’ protest turned aggressive after Ms Mahajan disallowed their adjournment notice over the “barbaric and shameful” incidents of lynching.
The angry Opposition members, who had returned to their seats after Question Hour, stormed into the Well again, tore papers and shouted anti-government slogans.
Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said the minority communities, dalits and women were living in an atmosphere of terror and fear.
The Prime Minister has asked cow vigilantes not to take law in their hand, but such incidents keep happening and no action is taken against them, he added.
“The Prime Minister and home minister should attend the House when the issue is discussed,” Mr Kharge said.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar, at this point, said that the entire country believes that “cow is our mother” and should be protected. However, it will not be tolerated if anyone takes law in their hands.
“In 2016, the Centre had issued an advisory to the states. As law and order is a state subject, the state governments concerned should take action,” Mr Kumar said, adding that the government is aware of the situation and will not tolerate any hooliganism.
A dissatisfied Opposition, including members of the Congress, TMC and CPI(M), stormed the Well and raised slogans. As Congress members continued to create ruckus in the House and tore papers and threw them towards the Chair, Mr Kumar demanded action against them.
A visibly angry Speaker said, “The entire country should watch this incident.”
Torn papers were scattered on the floor near secretary general Anoop Mishra’s seat.
Amid the din, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings at around 12.45 pm till 2 pm.
The Speaker pronounced her order, suspending the six MPs, as soon as the House reassembled at 2 pm and again adjourned it till 2.30 pm due to the noisy protests by Congress members. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was present in the House at that time.
When the House again met at 2.30 pm, Congress members were joined by members of the Left in protesting against the suspension, prompting Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai to adjourn the House for the day.