HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Reluctant speaker suspends 12 MPs for ‘safety’

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 23, 2013
First Published: 14:29 IST(23/8/2013) | Last Updated: 13:02 IST(24/8/2013)

A reluctant Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar on Friday took the rare decision of suspending 12 MPs from Andhra Pradesh after she received specific inputs that protesting members could bring “unwanted dangerous objects” inside the House.

The Speaker, who for the first time invoked the rule created in 2001 to suspend eight Congress and four Telugu Desam Party MPs, was not in favour of any harsh step against the members till Thursday night, HT has learnt.

Even after the suspension of the MPs, which will remain in force for at least five working days, sources said the Speaker expressed the hope that “it is for the first and the last time” she had to take such a drastic decision.

Though Kumar was taken aback when one of the protesting MPs tried to turn her mike away on Thursday, she was not in favour of suspending the members despite the best efforts of government managers.

The situation changed on Friday morning with the twin developments of leaders of different political parties telling the Speaker that they would not oppose her decision and the inputs from Parliament security staff that protesting members could have “some unwanted dangerous objects” with them.

Since MPs are not frisked in the Parliament house complex, there were reports that some protesting members could even bring inflammable material with them.

Speaker’s action came a day after the efforts of parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath to bring a motion for suspension of these members was scuttled by a united opposition. Nath withdrew his motion on Friday.

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