12 MPs suspended after ruckus in LS over Telangana NEW DELHI (TIP): Daily disruptions since Parliament’s monsoon session began on August 5 finally led to the suspension of eight Congress MPs in Lok Sabha – the House was treated to the unprecedented sight of ruling party members being named – along with four TDP MPs. A move to take similar action against MPs protesting the Telangana decision in RajyaSabha was held back as deputy chairperson P JKurien sought the consent of opposition parties, most of whom refused to back the proposal.
The din prevented Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from making a statement on missingCoalgate files as demanded by the opposition led by BJP. In Lok Sabha, Speaker Meira Kumar read out names of the MPs, holding them guilty of “grave disorder” before adjourning proceedings till Saturday morning. The MPs remained in the House till around 4.30 pm when the vacated the premises. Most Parliament watchers could not recall an instance where ruling party MPs were suspended in such circumstances. “I cannot remember such an event. It is quite unprecedented,” said A Surya Prakash, author of ‘What Ails Indian Parliament’. The Speaker’s action followed a meeting in her chamber where the government suggested that it will not press a motion seeking suspension of the MPs as Kumar could initiate disciplinary proceedings from the chair.
Interestingly, when finance minister P Chidambaram specifically asked party leaders if they consented with such a course of action, regional parties like BJD, AIADMK, DMK and Shiv Senarefused to voice their views. The regional outfits said they were not required to concur in advance, a stance driven by reluctance to endorse a tough option that they apprehend might be used against them in the future. BJP leaders, on the other hand, indicated that they would not walk out of the House if the Speaker were to announce a decision on the agitating MPs, resolving a major roadblock for the government. Of the 12suspended MPs, Nimalla Kristappa, Modugula Venugopala Reddy, Konakalla Narayan Rao and Nirmalalli Sivaprasad are from the TDP. Savarshri A Sai Prathap, Anantha Venkatrami Reddy, L Raja Gopal, Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, V Aruna Kumar, G V Harsha Kumar, Bapi Raju Kanumuru and Sabbam Hari belong to the Congress.
The decision to exclude 12 MPs from five sittings of the House – effectively the rest of the session – is a fairly desperate measure for the government that has been at its wits end to ensure passage of bills like food security and pension reforms. Instances of friction between parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath and the opposition have added to the deadlock. Nath said he was hopeful that the food security bill will be discussed on Monday. On Saturday, some relatively less important legislation is slated for discussion. Rajya Sabha, meanwhile, was adjourned for the day amid an uproar over Telangana. Deputy chairman P J Kurien threatened to act against two TDP MPs “for holding the House to ransom” but could not do so as AIADMK and TMC opposed the move. Kurien referred to BJP in particular when he said those who wanted the PM’s reply on missing Coalgate files were not supporting action against errant members. Kurien said he would invoke rule 225 and ask for the support of the House on it. Amid noisy scenes, the coal minister made a statement on the missing Coalgate files. But uproar for united Andhra continued, forcing the chair to adjourn the House for the day.