Parliament monsoon session: 19 opposition Rajya Sabha MPs suspended
Amid a stormy monsoon session in Parliament, 19 Rajya Sabha MPs from opposition parties have been suspended for the rest of the week. Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh suspended members from five parties, including the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). This comes only a day after four Lok Sabha MPs of the Congress party were suspended for the entire monsoon session
Besides TMC and TRS, the suspended Rajya Sabha MPs belong to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), and CPI. The list includes MPs from West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Kerala. Sushmita Dev, Dola Sen, Kanimozhi NVN Somu, Md. Nadimul Haque, AA Rahim, and R Girranjan, among others, were suspended for "misconduct" for protesting in the well of the house.
The suspended MPs can only resume their attendance on Monday. The house was reportedly adjourned for an hour as the suspended MPs continued protesting and refused to leave. This comes in a session marred by opposition protests over various government policies. Commenting on the issue, TMC MP Derek O'Brien said, "PM [Narendra] Modi and Amit Shah have suspended democracy...what are you talking about MPs?"
"We're ready for discussion, but despite that, they (the opposition) are repeatedly disrupting the house proceedings," Union Minister Piyush Goyal told ANI. "We're hopeful that as soon as the finance minister comes, the discussion on price rises will take place," he added. To note, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is currently recovering from COVID-19. She tested positive for the virus last week.
On Monday, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla suspended four Congress MPs, Manickam Tagore, Ramya Haridas, Jothi Mani, and TN Prathapan, for "unruly behavior." The MPs were suspended after they stepped into the well of the house with placards and protested the LPG price hike, among other issues. These Congress parliamentarians have been suspended for the entirety of the monsoon session.
Fifty-seven Congress MPs were detained on Tuesday during a "satyagraha" protest in Delhi. Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, and the other detained leaders of the party were taken to the Kingsway Camp Police Station. The Congress leaders protested against issues like rising inflation and food prices, GST hike, and the alleged "misuse" of government agencies amid Sonia Gandhi's questioning by the Enforcement Directorate.