Suspended Lok Sabha MP count nearly doubles during NDA terms | Data

During the terms of UPA I and II, 50 Lok Sabha MPs were suspended; the count increased to 94 during the terms of NDA I and II

October 07, 2023 09:54 am | Updated December 18, 2023 08:43 pm IST

Lok Sabha MP Ramesh Bidhuri who used communal slurs against MP Kunwar Danish Ali

Lok Sabha MP Ramesh Bidhuri who used communal slurs against MP Kunwar Danish Ali | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

The special session of Parliament began on a positive note with the passing of the women’s reservation Bill. However, the new beginning was stained when, on September 21, Lok Sabha MP Ramesh Bidhuri of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hurled communal slurs and abuse at Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member Kunwar Danish Ali in the Lok Sabha.

Mr. Bidhuri was let off with a warning by Speaker Om Birla and his remarks were expunged from the Lok Sabha records, while the Opposition pressed for his suspension. On September 28, seven days after Mr. Bidhuri made the remarks, the complaints against him were referred to the Lok Sabha’s Privileges Committee, which comprises a majority of BJP members.

Data show that members from non-BJP parties have been suspended for less severe offences in the recent past. While referring to the Mahabharata, Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had said that the “king” should not be blind to what is happening against women, “whether in Hastinapur or Manipur.” He was suspended on August 10 for “gross, deliberate and repeated misconduct.” The Privileges Committee revoked his suspension on August 30. Earlier, on July 24, Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member Sanjay Singh for the remainder of the monsoon session after Mr. Singh rushed to the well of the House and pointed at the Chair amid sloganeering by Opposition MPs.

Chart 1 shows the session-wise suspension of members in each term of the last four Lok Sabhas (UPA-I, from 2004 to 2009; UPA-II, from 2009 to 2014; NDA-I, from 2014 to 2019; and NDA-II, from 2019 to present). Each dot corresponds to a member who was suspended during the session of a specific term.

Chart aappears incomplete? Click to remove AMP mode

As seen in the chart, there is a difference in the number of suspensions carried out during the UPA’s terms and the NDA’s terms. There have been 144 suspensions in the Lok Sabha in the past four terms. The first 10-year period saw 50 suspensions, while the remaining 94 suspensions (65%) took place during the NDA’s terms.

There is also an increasing trend of members being suspended en masse. The 16th Lok Sabha, elected in 2014, saw the highest number of suspensions (81) with 49 members being suspended in the 16th session alone. A party-wise split shows that the majority of suspended members belonged to the Congress, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the TDP (Telugu Desam Party). No BJP members have been suspended during the NDA’s terms.

In contrast, eight Congress MPs of erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh were suspended in 2012, during the 15th Lok Sabha elected in 2009, for shouting slogans and unruly behaviour.

The Rajya Sabha has seen 55 suspensions between 2006 and 2023 (Chart 2). Seven members were suspended in 2010 and 48 members have been suspended from 2020 onwards.

Chart 2 shows the session-wise number of members suspended. The highlighted region shows the UPA terms.

The highest number of those suspended belonged to the Trinamool Congress (13), followed by the Congress (10), and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Aam Aadmi Party with six each.

The Rajya Sabha also witnessed the highest number of single-batch suspensions in session number 257 (2022). The members were suspended for rushing to the Well of the House and demanding a discussion on price rise and a rollback of the Goods and Services Tax on daily essentials.

Source: Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

nihalani.j@thehindu.co.in

Also read: Women Reservation Bill: In 20 States & UTs less than 10% MLAs are female | Data

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