Lok Sabha Speaker suspends 25 Congress MPs to end logjam

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today suspended 25 Congress MPs ending days of Parliament logjam caused by the opposition's tactics of "willfully obstructing the business of the House".

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has suspended 25 members of the Congress for five days for causing "grave disorder" in Parliament.

Mahajan's action comes after repeated warnings failed to calm a determined opposition bent on disrupting the proceedings of the House. The Congress MPs carried placards and wore black bands in protest.

The Congress has continuously disrupted both houses every day since the monsoon session of parliament began.

The Speaker 'named' the 25 Congress members who were carrying placards and shouting slogans in the Well while pressing for resignation of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over alleged irreglarities.

Taking action under Rule 374(A), she said the members were being suspended for "persistently, wilfully obstructing the House".

The Rule 374(A) says, "Notwithstanding anything contained in rules 373 and 374, in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House persistently and willfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise, such member shall, on being named by the Speaker, stand automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less."

She ruled that the 'named' members will not attend five sittings of the House. Congress has 44 members in all.

Mahajan adjourned the House immediately after. However, a number of the Congress members staged a sit-in in the House.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has made it clear at a meeting of her party MPs today that the protests would go on till three top BJP leaders caught in controversies are removed.

As Ms Mahajan announced the punishment, the Trinamool Congress' Sudip Bandopadhyay requested her to take a more lenient view, but the speaker did not relent.