4 Cong MPs suspended from Lok Sabha over misconduct

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday suspended four protesting Congress members for the remainder of the monsoon session, amid continuing disruptions in Parliament proceedings by the Opposition on issues of high inflation and GST (goods and services tax) on household essentials. The Lower House was then adjourned till Tuesday, Hindustan Times reported.

The MPs who stormed the well of the House holding placards were suspended under Rule 374(2) “for serious note of misconduct in utter disregard of the House and the authority of the Chair…”, according to the resolution for their suspension.

The suspended parliamentarians are Manickam Tagore, TN Prathapan, S Jothimani and Ramya Haridas. Prathapan and Haridas are from Kerala and the other two lawmakers belong to Tamil Nadu.

“People want Parliament to function,” Birla said on Monday, appealing for order in the House. This was the first time that members were suspended in the current session. The suspension lapses at the end of the session but the four lawmakers named by the Speaker can individually appeal to him to lessen the duration.

“The government is ready to discuss issues raised by the Opposition,” Birla said. If members wanted to protest with placards, they could do so outside the House, he said. Parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi requested Birla to disqualify the MPs who trooped into the well and were holding placards inside the House, according to Hindustan Times.

The Opposition, led by Congress and Trinamool Congress members, demonstrated inside the Lok Sabha, leading to an adjournment till 3pm after the lunch recess. Parliament proceedings have been continuously disrupted since the monsoon session began on July 18. Opposition MPs shouted slogans and marched to the well of the House with placards.Tagore moved an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha to discuss the imposition of 5% goods and services tax on items of daily use such as pre-packed and labelled food grains, curd, butter and milk, among others.

“For the past six days, we have been giving notices to adjourn the House and discuss fuel price rise and GST. We want Parliament to function and discuss price rise. But the government has refused to discuss the issues so far. We were forced to show placards as Sansad TV doesn’t show us when we protest. Whenever we raise issues, Sansad TV only shows the ruling benches,” Tagore told reporters.

Officials pointed out that it is not the first time that parliamentarians have been suspended from the House in this Lok Sabha. “The last case of suspension took place on April 5, 2020 when a total of seven Opposition MPs were temporarily suspended from the Lok Sabha,” an official said, Hindustan Times reported.

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