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Speaker suspends 24 AIADMK MPs for continued ruckus

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 02, 2019 23:48 IST
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IMAGE: AIADMK members stage a protest against construction of new dams over Cauvery River during the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on Monday. Photograph: Atul Yadav/PTI Photo

As many as 24 All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members were suspended by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday for the next five consecutive sittings for protesting and creating ruckus continuously in the House over the Cauvery issue.

 

Soon after the House reconvened after adjournment, AIADMK members trooped into the Well with placards and some flinging torn pieces of papers towards the table where Lok Sabha secretariat officials sit during proceedings.

A visibly peeved Mahajan suspended 24 members of AIADMK under rule 374 (A) that allows Lok Sabha speaker to suspend members in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the Well of the House or abusing the rules of the House, among other things.

The Members suspended included K Ashok Kumar, R K Bharathi Mohan, M Chandrakasi, Jayakumar Jayavardhan, K Parasuraman, Dr K Kamraj, P Kumar, M Vasanti, C Mahendram, K Margatham and P Nagarajan.

The AIADMK has 37 members in Lok Sabha.

Earlier, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu ordered members of AIDMK and DMK to leave the House for the day when they continued to protest in the Well over the Cauvery issue.

The protesting Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and AIADMK lawmakers have said they are ready to face action for disrupting proceedings of the Rajya Sabha over the Cauvery issue, however, the government is holding hectic parleys to find a solution, sources said on Wednesday.

With the upper house failing to transact any business, Chairman Naidu on Wednesday held meetings with protesting members of various parties and asked the government to find a solution to the Mekedatu dam issue over which AIADMK and DMK members are protesting.

Sources said, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Goel has told the protesting lawmakers of the two parties that Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari will discuss the issue with them.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will also talk to them along with Gadkari to reach an amicable solution and meet their demands.

The Tamil Nadu parties are protesting in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha against the proposed Mekedatu dam in Karnataka on the Cauvery river, claiming that it will affect farmers in their state.

With the Upper House failing to transact any significant business since the start of the Winter Session on December 11, the chairman has warned of action against the protesting members of the Tamil Nadu parties if they seek to disrupt Rajya Sabha proceedings any further.

Tamil Nadu has been protesting the project after the Centre recently asked the Karnataka government to prepare a detailed report for the Mekedatu dam project. The state government has also appealed in the Supreme Court on the matter.

The sources said initially the protesting AIADMK and DMK members had agreed to allow the House to function on the government's assurance over the issue. However, they later said their leadership in Tamil Nadu did not agree to mere assurances, they said.

Thereafter, the protesting members told Naidu they were ready to face action, including naming by the Chair, the sources said.

However, the Leader of Opposition and other senior leaders said it would not be proper to remove the protesting members from the House with the use of marshals after they are named by the Chair, they said.

They have asked for one more chance to be given to the protesting members from the AIADMK and the DMK to resolve their issues, the sources said.

Naidu had earlier in the House expressed anguish that the image of the Rajya Sabha was 'taking a beating' and warned that action could be taken against members protesting in the Well.

He had 'earnestly' requested members to cooperate in clearing bills and taking up discussions on issues such as those related to the Rafale deal, agrarian crisis, price rise and effect of cyclones in some states.

Naidu said action would be taken against members protesting in the Well, if there is consensus in the House.

However, he added that action would be against all members who troop into the Well. "It cannot be selective," Naidu said.

The sources said Naidu held two rounds of meetings with leaders of various parties in the Rajya Sabha to ensure the smooth functioning of the house.

He also asked the government to find an amicable solution to the Mekedatu issue, they said.

The first meeting between Naidu and political parties was held before he released the Rajya Sabha Calendar for 2019, while the second round was held later in the day.

Naidu reminded the leaders that only four sittings of the House were left while substantial legislative agenda and issues of public importance awaited consideration of the House.

He said these issues included some constitutional matter pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir and some bills on which there was a clear understanding among parties.

Some senior leaders of various parties urged MPs from Tamil Nadu to stop disrupting proceedings of the House and assured them that the government will adequately respond to their concerns regarding construction of the proposed Mekadatu dam, the Rajya Sabha chairman said.

 

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