New Delhi: For the second day running, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan Thursday acted tough suspending 21 members of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and AIADMK for four consecutive sittings for causing “grave disorder” by tearing papers and throwing them towards the Chair.
The Speaker’s action came as members of the two parties were agitating near the Speaker’s podium shouting slogans in support of their demands like special status for Andhra Pradesh and against the proposed dam on the Cauvery river in Karnataka, issues on which they have been protesting ever since the start of the session.
On Wednesday, the Speaker suspended 24 AIADMK members for five days for creating disorder.
The House could not complete the Question Hour as there was pandemonium and the Speaker adjourned it till noon. The situation was no different when the House resumed and Mahajan issued a warning and suspended 19 members of both the parties for four days.
“You have come to the well of the House and you are abusing the rules by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business. By your wilful and persistent obstruction, grave disorder is being occasioned. I am, therefore, constrained to name you under Rule 374A.
“Therefore, all of them stand automatically suspended from the service of the House for four consecutive sittings of the session under provision of Rule 374A. They may forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House,” she said and read out the names of the suspended members.
Of the 21 members, 14 belong to TDP and 7 to AIADMK.
Those suspended were TDP’s Jayadev Galla, Maganti Murali Mohan, M. Venkateswara Rao (Babu), Malyadri Sriram, Nimmala Kristappa, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Ram Mohan Naidu, Konakalla Narayana Rao, Muthamsetti Srinivasa Rao, J.C. Divakar Reddy, Thota Narasimham and Renuka Butta.
The suspended AIADMK members were A. Arunmozhithevan, R. Gopalakrishnan, R.P. Marutharajaa, J.J.T. Natterjee, V. Panneer Selvam, P.R. Senthilnathan and C. Gopalakrishnan.
She then adjourned the House till 2 p.m. so that it could take up the incomplete debate on the controversial Rafale deal in which Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was to reply on Thursday.
But the suspended MPs defied the Chair and continued a ‘sit in’ in the House which surprised Mahajan when she came to chair the proceedings at 2 p.m.
“You were suspended. You have to leave the House,” she remarked as two more TDP MPs – Pandula Ravindra Babu and Srinivas Kesineni – joined the protest.
She warned them and when the defiance continued, she named the two and suspended them along with others for four consecutive sittings.
As shouting continued and the protesting members tore papers and threw them at officials’ table, she adjourned the House till Friday. Parliament’s winter session is slated to end on January 8.
The AIADMK has 37 Lok Sabha members and the TDP has 15.