Speaker Om Birla withdraws suspension of 4 Cong MPs; normalcy returns in LS
New Delhi: A week after suspending them from the House for “unruly” behaviour, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday revoked the suspension of four Congress members, after seeking assurance from the Opposition that they will not bring placards to the House.
Birla also warned the members that he will take stringent action against those who violated the rules of procedure, which bars members from bringing any “exhibits” to the House.
Four Congress members — Manickam Tagore, Ramya Haridas, T N Prathapan and S Jothimani were suspended last Monday from LS for the rest of the monsoon session for carrying placards and raising slogans inside the House.
The monsoon session of Parliament has seen scant business since it began on July 18 as the House remained deadlocked over protests by the opposition which insisted on taking up discussion on price rise and other issues.
In addition, the suspension of the MPs also became an issue between the opposition parties and the government, causing disruptions.
With the revocation of suspension, the House resumed normal business.
The ball for revocation of suspension was set rolling with the Speaker convening a meeting of floor leaders on Monday to end the stalemate in the House.
As the House re-convened at 2:00 pm, Birla said he was hurt by the incidents that took place in the House over the past two weeks and urged members to work towards upholding the dignity of the Lok Sabha.
“There should be a consensus that we do not get placards in the House. I will urge all political parties not to bring placards to the House. I am giving a final warning, if anyone gets placards to the House I will neither listen to the government nor the opposition and will take action,” the Speaker said.
Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Opposition had to raise some issues vociferously in the House, and at times resort to protests if the government does not give them a patient hearing.
He assured the Speaker that he will convey the views expressed by the chair to the members who have been suspended.
Chowdhury said it was not the intention of the opposition to hurt the chair.
The Congress leader also suggested that the Speaker call a meeting of the General Purposes Committee to decide on the modes of protests in the House.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said he had told the all-party meeting that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was suffering from COVID-19 and the discussion on price rise would be taken up as soon as she recovered.
However, the opposition continued with the protests despite the assurance from the government.
“I am not able to understand why the Lok Sabha productivity was lost for the last two weeks,” Joshi said.