Lok Sabha on Thursday suspended seven Congress members for the remaining period of the budget session for "gross misconduct" and "utter disregard" for House rules after they snatched papers from the Speaker's table.
As soon as the House reassembled at 3 pm following an adjournment, Meenakshi Lekhi, who was presiding the House, named Gaurav Gogoi, T N Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, Manicka Tagore, Rajmohan Unnithan, Benny Behanan and Gurjeet Singh Aujla.
Once a member is named by the Chair, he or she cannot attend the House for that day.
She said when the House was discussing the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, some members "forcefully" snatched and tossed papers from the Speaker podium.
"Such unfortunate incident has possibly happened for the first time in the parliamentary history...I condemn this behaviour," she said while naming the members.
Parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi then moved a motion to suspend the members from the House for the remaining period of the budget session.
The motion was passed by a voice vote amid protests by opposition members.
"...that this house having taken serious note of gross misconduct of these members' utter disregard to the House and authority of the Chair and having been named by the Speaker resolve that these members be suspended from the service of the House from the remainder of the session," he said.
Lekhi then asked the seven members to leave Lok Sabha chambers immediately and then adjourned the House for the day.
During this period too opposition members were in the Well.
The Congress alleged that the suspension of its members from Lok Sabha was a "dictatorial decision" by the government aimed at weakening the Opposition's voice ahead of a debate over Delhi riots.
Congress's leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said it was a "government decision" and not one taken by the Speaker.
Asserting that the Congress members had done noting wrong, Chowdhury said it was a "dictatorial decision" and one that was motivated by "revenge politics".
"We saw revenge politics in House, orders were given by the chairperson to suspend seven Cong MPs for this session," he said.
Chowdhury alleged that the suspension was an attempt to weaken the party in the House as the government fears a discussion on the Delhi riots in Parliament.
"Whether suspending seven MPs is right, people will decide. We will not be scared and will continue to raise the Delhi riots issue," he said.
Gogoi, who was among the suspended MPs, said, "Suspend us for a year, but discuss the Delhi riots and heal the wounds of people."
"What happened today is a tale of embarrassment in the history of Parliament," Chowdhury said.
Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned four times on Thursday as Congress members demanded suspension of a Rajasthan MP over his controversial remarks against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her family members.
As the House met at 2 pm, Congress members stormed into the Well demanding suspension of Hanuman Beniwal of the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, a regional outfit from Rajasthan which is backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, who made the remarks against the Gandhi family.
As Rama Devi, who was in the chair then, continued to run the proceedings of the House, Congress members intensified sloganeering saying, "Suspend the MP, Modi Sarkar shame shame'.
As the process of passing the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was underway, Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress was seen throwing papers kept on the Lok Sabha Speaker's podium.
Soon after, Rama Devi adjourned the House till 3 pm.