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Wed. Aug 10th, 2022
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NEW DELHI: After the first week of the Parliament’s monsoon session turned out to be a near washout in both Houses — Lok Sabha functioning for just 96 minutes and Rajya Sabha for 76 minutes in three days since it started on July 18 – the second week began with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla suspending four Congress members for holding placards inside the House demanding a discussion on the issue of price rise.
The four MPs — Manickam Tagore, Jothimani, Ramya Haridas and TN Prathapan – were suspended for the entire session that ends on August 12. Following this, the four MPs walked over to the Gandhi statue on the Parliament premises, protesting against the suspension order, which could lead to further protests and disruption of the House in the coming days.
Proceedings began at 2 pm on Monday in the Parliament, and both the Houses saw repeated adjournments, before they were adjourned for the day.
As Birla took a stern view of the continuous disruptions by the opposition MPs since the beginning of the session, an angry Congress termed the action against its MPs a “blot on democracy”, alleging that the government was trying to “intimidate” it for raising people’s issues and said it would not be cowed down.
As the protesting opposition members stalled Lok Sabha proceedings on Monday, Birla named Congress members Tagore, Prathapan, Jothimani and Haridas. Parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi moved a resolution to suspend the four for the rest of the session. He said the members had shown “utter disregard” for the chair and a “serious note of their misconduct” had been taken by the House.
Congress’ deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi said the government is trying to intimidate them by suspending their MPs. “What was their fault? They were trying to raise the issues which matter to people. The party will not be cowed down like this,” he, accompanied by the four suspended MPs, told reporters outside the House.
“The MPs were holding placards raising the issues of rising prices of gas cylinder, imposition of GST on items such as flour and buttermilk. We moved an adjournment motion demanding a discussion on these issues, but no discussion was held,” he said.
Earlier, the speaker had warned the protesting members from the Congress, TMC and DMK that those who continue to shout slogans and display placards will have to do it outside the House after 3pm. The TMC MPs were part of the protesting opposition till 2 pm, but did not join it after the House reassembled at 3pm. They kept sitting in their seats.
At 2pm, as the Opposition members continued to protest, a visibly peeved Birla told them the government was ready to discuss the issues raised by them and stressed that people want the House to function before adjourning it till 3 pm. However, as the House resumed, waving of placards and sloganeering continued, drowning the voices of the members participating in the Zero Hour.
Rajendra Agarwal, who was chairing the proceedings, asked the opposition members to take note of the warning given by the Speaker. The House then passed a resolution by voice vote and Agarwal announced their suspension. He asked the members named in the resolution to immediately leave the House. The proceedings were subsequently adjourned for the day.

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