India

Opposition demands revocation of suspension of four Congress members in Lok Sabha 

Members in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on July 27.

Members in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on July 27. | Photo Credit: PTI

In a show of solidarity with the four suspended Congress members, Opposition members in the Lok Sabha on July 27 demanded the revocation of their suspension but the government insisted that it would request Speaker Om Birla to withdraw only if it got an assurance that members would not enter the well or display placards in the House.

The demand was made by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

The Congress members were not present in the House as they walked out soon after the House assembled at 11 a.m.

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Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, responding to the Opposition’s demands, said the suspension could be reconsidered but asked, “Are you ready to take guarantee that they will not come inside with placards and will not come into the well?“.

On July 25, four Congress members — Manickam Tagore, T.N. Prathapan, Ramya Haridas and Jothimani — were suspended.

“We want a debate, we want to cooperate with the government. Allow our members to come back and we will not go into the well of the House. I am saying it on behalf of the Opposition that we want to run the House,” NCP’s Supriya Sule said.

BJP member Rama Devi, who was in the Chair, allowed other leaders to speak as well.

DMK’s A. Raja said, “I have been a member of the House for multiple terms, either on this side [Opposition] or on that [treasury] and protests in the well and waving of placards are not something we haven’t seen before in this House. With folded hands, I say don’t value numerical strength in this House. Healthy debate will not stand before numerical strength. Please reconsider, withdraw the decision and thereafter we are willing to participate in the debates”.

Echoing these sentiments, TMC’s Sudip Bandopadhaya said, “Let this issue be sorted out and let the debate [on price rise] start.”

But the Opposition leaders made it clear that they could give guarantee for such an episode (not carrying placards into the well) only for their own party members.

“With the Speaker’s permission, we are ready to withdraw, but are you ready to take guarantee that they will not come inside with placards and will not come into the well. We are ready for debate, why is it a problem for the Opposition to take guarantee,” the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said.

‘Pulled up by Advani‘

He also recalled that as a young MP, he had once come into the well and to the table of then Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee, but had been pulled up by then Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani.

The thaw between the Opposition and Treasury benches came about after the Opposition leaders held an informal meeting at the Speaker’s chamber earlier in the day.

In the morning, the House witnessed two adjournments, first soon after it convened at 11 a.m. and later at 12 noon, following the laying of parliamentary papers on the table of the House.


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Printable version | Aug 29, 2022 2:10:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/opposition-demands-revocation-of-suspension-of-four-congress-members-in-lok-sabha/article65689828.ece