TMC MP not the 1st to get suspended for remainder of Parliament session
Trinamool Congress parliamentarian Shantanu Sen’s suspension from Rajya Sabha for the remaining duration of the monsoon session is being hotly debated politically. While according to the Rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha, the speaker is empowered to suspend a member from the house if he considers his or her conduct “grossly disorderly” or if the member “disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business,” however, in Sen’s case, chairman Venkaiah Naidu ruled in favour of the suspension motion moved by the ruling party MP and minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Muralidharan. This was then passed by voice vote.
Sen’s suspension was sought under Rule 256, which says a lawmaker, who “disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the Council” through “wilful” disruptions can be suspended for the remaining session if the Rajya Sabha chairman “deems it necessary”.
Here’s a look at some other instances of MPs facing this censure:
Delhi Riots: Following the Delhi riots of 2020, seven Congress MPs were suspended for “unruly behavior.” These included Raj Mohan Unnithan, TN Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, Benny Behanan, Manickam Tagore, Gaurav Gogoi and Gurjeet Singh Aujla. They had forcefully snatched papers from other lawmakers during the Budget Session of the Parliament.
Farm laws: A ruckus over farm laws, which the Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu described as “unruly behavior” and an “insult to the deputy chairman,” eight opposition MPs including Congress’ Rajeev Satav, Syed Naseer Hussain and Ripun Bora, AAP’s Sanjay Singh, CPI(M)’s KK Rajesh and Elamaram Kareem, and TMC’s Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen were suspended in September last through a motion against “bringing disrepute” to the House, approved through a voice vote.
Singh was suspended earlier as well in February for “sloganeering” against the same laws.
Sabarimala, Cauvery River, and special status to Andhra Pradesh: In January 2019, nearly 45 members from parties including AIADMK, TDP, and Congress were suspended following in-house protests over a proposed dam on river Cauvery, special state status to Andhra Pradesh and the Sabarimala issue respectively. They were suspended by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on the pretext of “wilfully obstructing the proceedings of the House.”
Protests over Telangana: 18 MPs were suspended following a ruckus over the creation of the separate state of Telangana in February 2014. Congress leader L Rajagopal then resorted to using a pepper spray in the house while another member M Venugopala Reddy smashed a mike.
Price Rise: 7 MPs were suspended in March 2010 when the government took up the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha. Lalu Prasad Yadav along with members from Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, and Janata Dal (U) sloganeering in the house calling the introduction of the then women reservation bill as a “tactic to divert attention from the issue of price rise.” Except for Yadav, rest of the MPs were suspended for showing total “disregard for the dignity of Council”.