Lok Sabha Speaker suspends MPs
In response to the obstruction that the Congress has been causing in this Parliament session, and the refusal of Congress leaders to maintain order, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan has suspended 25 of the 44 Congress MPs. This rather unusual move- since the decision was taken solely by her- is the first time this has happened in the history of the current Lok Sabha.
Pandemonium in Parliament
The monsoon session of the Parliament began on 21 July 2015. Since its commencement, the Congress leaders of the opposition party have waged a protest in both the houses of Parliament with intense slogan shouting. They have been demanding the resignation of BJP MPs, Vasundhara Raje and Sushma Swaraj over the Lalit Modi controversy and that of Shivraj Singh Chauhan over the Vyapam scam.
Sushma Swaraj defends herself
Sushma Swaraj (Foreign Minister) has been tangled up in the Lalit Modi controversy. Responding to allegations made against her, she said that she did not help him to acquire travel documents from the UK in order to travel to Portugal. According to her statement, she had left the decision up to the UK government and had nothing to do with the resulting decision.
Sushma Swaraj's statement falls on deaf ears
Congress seems unwilling to listen to Sushma Swaraj, despite her repeated assertions that she had not had any role in acquiring papers for Lalit Modi. Earlier, however, she had said that her assistance was based on "humanitarian grounds". Now, the Congress has complained that her latest statement is illegal and cannot be put on record because she spoke without the permission of the Chair.
BJP offers compromise
Although the BJP refused to give into the Congress' demands and has ruled out the possibility of resignations, it has said that Narendra Modi would address the Parliament if a debate was initiated on the various controversies flying around. Sonia Gandhi, however, refused to budge from the Congress' demand that three BJP leaders resign, in light of all the mountain of evidence against them.
Congress disrupts Lok Sabha
Congress members led by Sonia Gandhi refused to enter into any negotiations in both the Houses of the Parliament. They are demanding action over discussion. The Congress, with its constant disruption of house proceedings, has brought Parliament to a standstill. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha, has asked them numerous times to restore order in the house and not wear black bands of protest.
Invoking Rule 374(A)
The Speaker has invoked rule 374(A), which calls for the suspension of a MP for a period of five days or the remainder of the session, whichever is less, when the concerned member has caused "grave disorder" in the House. Mahajan went ahead with the suspension despite requests from the Trinamool Congress to stay it, in the fear that the logjam would further worsen.
Suspension angers Congress
The suspension of the MPs has angered Sonia Gandhi, who called it a "black day for democracy". Together with Rahul Gandhi, she conferred with parties like Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and CPI (M), who returned from discussions and announced that they would boycott the five days of suspension alongside the Congress. Rahul Gandhi later tweeted, expressing Congress' support for the suspended MPs.
So that's where the taxpayer's money goes!
Parliament works for six hours a day. An average estimate denotes an expenditure of Rs.2.5 lakh per minute as the working cost of both the houses of Parliament. With Parliament coming to a standstill, money amounting to crores is being wasted.