But, their suspension was not a reason for the verbal duel.
The apparent reason was TDP member N Sivaprasad taking out a mask of former prime minister Indira Gandhi and wearing it, while raising slogans for united Andhra Pradesh. The Congress members took umbrage and asked Sivaprasad to remove the mask, which he did reluctantly.
Speaker Kumar who was reading the suspension notice of nine MPs at that time, did not take note of the unruly behaviour and adjourned the House. Thereafter, Congress members Sandeep Dikshit and Madhu Yakshi Goud entered into a slanging match with the suspended TDP MPs.
There were allegations that both sides used abusive language against each other after which TDP leader of the House Namanageshwar Rao spoke with leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj. Later Swaraj accompanied BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain to the Speaker’s chamber where Hussain lodged a formal complaint.
“We strongly condemn this behaviour of Congress MPs. Their act was shameful. Congress chief whip Sandeep Dikshit and Madhu Yakshi Goud abused these MPs who were named by the Chair. They were threatened by them too,” Hussain later said.
Dikshit, on the other hand, said Congress members were abused after they told TDP members to come out of the House and talk, instead of causing disruptions. “But they were using abusive language in Telugu,” he said.
The suspended TDP MPs were in the House when it resumed business at 2pm forcing adjournment of Lok Sabha for the day. The issue is expected to rock Lok Sabha on Tuesday with Rao announcing to move a privilege motion against the Congress MPs.