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Last Updated : Aug 03, 2015 06:44 PM IST | Source: PTI

TMC not to attend LS from tomorrow to protest suspension

"For the greater interest of Parliamentary democracy, we are opposed to suspension of 25 Lok Sabha MPs. We are not attending Lok Sabha from tomorrow," Bandyopadhyay said in a statement.

The Trinamool Congress today decided not to attend the Lok Sabha from tomorrow to protest the suspension of 25 Lok Sabha MPs, TMC parliamentary party leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said.

"For the greater interest of Parliamentary democracy, we are opposed to suspension of 25 Lok Sabha MPs. We are not attending Lok Sabha from tomorrow," Bandyopadhyay said in a statement.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today suspended 25 Congress members for five days for "persistently, wilfully obstructing" the House".

The Speaker 'named' (identifying for action) the 25 Congress members who were carrying placards and shouting slogans in the Well while pressing for resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over Lalit Modi row.

The Speaker's action came after several warnings and despite pleas by TMC leader Sudip Bandhyopadhyay and CPI(M) leader P Karunakaran that it would aggravate the situation. This is the first such major action in the current Lok Sabha. The tenure of the previous House had seen the then Speaker Meira Kumar suspending 16 members from Telangana in February last year under the same rule.

The suspended members included B N Chandrappa, Santok Singh Chaudhary, A H K Choudhury, Sushmita Dev, Ninog Ering, R Dhruvanarayana, Gaurav Gogoi, G Sukender Reddy, Deepender Hooda, S Kodikunnil, S P Muddahanumegowda, Abhijit Mukherjee, Mullappally Ramachandran, K H Munniyappa, B V Nayak, Vincent Pala, M K Raghavan, Ranjeet Ranjan, C L Ruala, T Sahu, Rajee Satav, Ravneet Singh K Suresh, K C Venugopal and T Meinya.

Sonia Gandhi was angry at the Speaker's decision and asked Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge to lodge protest. Objecting to the action, Kharge said "our demand is that the ministers resign.

Then everything will be peaceful". Amid the bedlam, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there is no FIR, no court observation and no prima facie case against Swaraj as well as the two Chief Ministers and hence there is "no justification" for them to resign.

The CVC too has not pointed out any wrongdoing, he said, adding "We have not shied away from discussion and we are ready for it."

He said Opposition has an important role in parliamentary democracy but the House should be allowed to function. His response came when Kharge opposed the Speaker's move to name MPs from his party for disrupting the proceedings.

Before naming them, the Speaker repeatedly told Congress members not to display placards and return to their seats. "Don't force me to take stringent cannot say they disrupted proceedings so we will also do the same...we cannot denegrade ourselves further," Mahajan said.

Bandhopadhyay and Karunakaran urged the Speaker not to suspend the members and the warring parties should be given a change to resolve issue as they are "experienced politicians".

Karunakaran recalled that BJP had stalled the Lok Sabha as opposition party for one month and such an action in the present Lok Sabh could be avoided.

The Speaker said if they are ready to take guarantee for Congress members, she could have a rethink. Some members from Left parties were also in the Well
raising slogans against the government but were not displaying placards.

Significantly, the Speaker's action came soon after an all-party meeting failed to end the logjam in Parliament.

Confirming the above news, Derek O'Brien, MP-Rajya Sabha, TMC told CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan that the party did not support the Speaker’s decision and that the TMC MPs would not attend Lok Sabha this week.

Meanwhile Jay Panda, MP, Biju Janata Dal (BJP) told CNBC-TV18 that there was no discussion with Congress on abstaining from the parliament. According to him whatever happened was unfortunate but there was no other alternative the Speaker had besides suspension because she kept warning that she would be forced to take harsh steps because parliament was not functioning.

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First Published on Aug 3, 2015 06:25 pm
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