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Rajya Sabha suspends 12 opposition MPs for creating ruckus in previous session

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on the first day of its business for the Winter Session on Monday suspended 12 of its members, including Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi and Trinamool MP Dola Sen, for the shocking violence on the last day of the Monsoon Session. The opposition, however, condemned the suspension, alleging it is against the rules.

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The suspension motion said the MPs had willingly committed “unprecedented acts of misconduct, contemptuous, violent and unruly behaviour and intentional attacks on the security personnel”.

The action has been taken against them for indiscipline in the monsoon session of the house. Apart from Priyanka Chaturvedi and Dona Sen, MPs who have been suspended on Monday are Elamaram Kareem (CPM), Congress’s Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, R Bora, Rajamani Patel, Syed Nasir Hussain, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, CPI’s Binoy Viswam, TMC’s Shanta Chhetri and Shiv Sena’s Anil Desai.

In a joint statement, the opposition said the suspension was “unwarranted and undemocratic” and that the floor leaders of the parties will have a strategy meet tomorrow. The letter, however, was not signed by the Trinamool Congress, which is skipping today’s opposition meet as well.

There is no precedent on action being taken against MPs for their doings in a previous session. The Rule 256, under which they have been suspended, says an MP can be suspended “for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session”.

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It is to be mentioned that on the last day of the Monsoon Session, Parliament witnessed a ruckus in the Upper House while opposition MPs claimed they were attacked by marshals who were not part of Parliament security. The government’s report on the ruckus states that a male marshal was choked by CPM MP Elamaran Kareem while a female marshal of the Rajya Sabha was assaulted by Chhaya Verma and Phulo Devi Netam, Congress MPs. The report was submitted to the RS chairman after the House was suspended for the season.

Pointing out the rule, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha said if the suspension is not withdrawn the opposition will boycott the whole of Winter Session.

The chaotic Monsoon session – where the government and the opposition were at loggerheads over demands to discuss the Pegasus spyware issue — had concluded on August 11 amid shocking violence and allegations of manhandling of women.

The house had erupted as the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill was passed despite demands to refer it to a select committee. CCTV footage of the proceedings showed opposition members jostling security personnel inside the Rajya Sabha. MPs armed with black flags were seen climbing tables and scattering files and documents.

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