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Speaker suspends 6 Congress MPs for throwing paper at Chair

Last updated on: July 24, 2017 18:36 IST

Six Congress members were on Monday suspended from the Lok Sabha for five days by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for causing "grave disorder" by storming the Well, tearing papers and throwing them towards the Chair during their protests over the lynching issue.

IMAGE: Congress members protest in the well of Lok Sabha on Monday. Photograph: TV grab

Ordering their suspension amid noisy protests by Congress members and counter-slogans of "shame, shame" from the Bharatiya Janata Party benches, the speaker said the conduct of Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh, Adhir Rajan Chowdhury, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev and M K Raghavan was "highly unbecoming" and had undermined the Chair's dignity.

Members of the Congress and some other opposition parties were in the Well raising slogans against the government and protesting lynching incidents in the name of cow protection almost since the House assembled in the morning and took up the Question Hour.

However, after some time, only the Congress members remained in the Well and the ruckus continued during the Zero Hour in the afternoon, forcing an adjournment till 2.00 pm.

She pronounced her order as soon as the House reassembled at 2.00 pm and again adjourned it till 2.30 pm due to the noisy protests by Congress members that followed. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was present in the House at that time.

When the House again met at 2.30 pm, Congress members were joined by the Left in protesting the suspension, prompting Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai to adjourn the House for the day.

Earlier, Mahajan said she was constrained to name these members due to their behaviour which was in "abuse" of the rules.

"Gaurav Gogoi snatched papers from the table and waived them towards the Chair. K Suresh snatched papers from the table, tore them up and threw them towards the Chair. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev and M K Raghavan tore papers and threw them towards the Chair," Mahajan said in her order.

"The conduct of the members is highly unbecoming and in abuse of the rules of the House. It seeks to undermine the dignity of the House. These members were persistently and willfully obstructing the business of the House and have caused grave disorder," the Speaker said.

These members, she said, stood automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings under the provisions of Rule 374A of the procedure for conducting Lok Sabha business.

IMAGE: From left in the top row, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury; and from left in the bottom row, Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh and M K Raghavan. Photograph: PTI Photo

"They may forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House," Mahajan said.

In her statement in the House, she said all this had happened despite her agreeing to a discussion under proper notice the issue of atrocities against Dalits and Muslims which was raised by Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and a few other members.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar had also agreed to a discussion on the issue, she said.

Despite this, the members stormed the Well, she said while pronouncing the order. They did not stop despite her repeated requests to them to return to their seats, she said.

As she pronounced their suspension, many Congress members again trooped into the Well, with K C Venugopal being heard asking her that she should suspend all the Congress members.

Earlier in the day, the opposition members had created a ruckus in the House, tearing papers and raising slogans in the Well to protest the incidents of lynching by cow vigilantes, with the government saying that killing in the name of cow protection was wrong and the states should deal with them.

The noisy protests by the members of the Congress and other opposition parties erupted soon after the Speaker disallowed their adjournment notice over the "barbaric and shameful" incidents of lynching.

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