INDIA bloc loses half its strength in RS, one-third in LS as MPs suspended

In Rajya Sabha, among the 34 suspended for the remainder of the session, 12 MPs are from the Congress.

New Delhi: Opposition INDIA bloc lost almost half its strength in Rajya Sabha and one-third in Lok Sabha as 78 MPs in total were suspended on Monday for unruly behaviour and disregarding the directions of the Chair.

The INDIA bloc has 95 MPs in Rajya Sabha of which 45 were suspended on Monday. Their another MP, AAP’s Sanjay Singh, is behind bars in the Delhi liquor policy case and stands already suspended.

In the Lok Sabha on the other hand, the opposition bloc has a total strength of 133 MPs of whom 46, or around on-third, stand suspended. The 46 include 33 suspended on Monday and 13 earlier.

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After the suspension of most of their leaders, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge will now have to spearhead the alliance’s attack in Rajya Sabha and Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha.

NCP leader Sharad Pawar, CPI-M’s floor leader Elamaram Kareem and DMK floor leader Tiruchi Siva will also have to lead the opposition charge along with Kharge in the upper house, as others stand suspended.

Among the floor leaders suspended in Rajya Sabha are TMC’s Derek O’Brien and deputy leader Sukhendu Sekhar Ray; RJD floor leader Manoj Kumar Jha; Samajwadi Party’s leader in the house Ram Gopal Yadav; JDU floor leader Ram Nath Thakur; JMM leader Mahua Maji; Kerala Congress (M) floor leader Jose K Mani and CPI leader in house Binoy Viswam.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and deputy leader Gaurav Gogoi have been suspended and so are their chief whip K Suresh and whip Manickam Tagore.

Congress whip in lower house Ravneet Singh Bittu and leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari will have to lead the opposition party’s charge now in the absence of other leaders.

In Lok Sabha, several floor leaders including T R Baalu of the DMK, P R Natarajan of CPI-M, E T Mohammed Basheer of the IUML, N K Premachandran of the RSP; Kalyan Banerjee of the TMC have been suspended.

Besides, senior leaders such as Rajamohan Unnithan, Su. Thirunavukkarasar, K Muraleedharan, Anto Antony and Amar Singh (all from Congress) and Aparupa Poddar, Prasun Banerjee, Sougata Ray, Satabdi Ray, Protima Mondal, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Asit Kumar Mal, Sunil Kumar Mondal (all from TMC) have been suspended.

Others suspended in LS are: A Raja, Dayanidhi Maran, T Sumathy, K Navas Kani, Kalanidhi Veerasamy, C N Annadurai, S S Palanimanickam, G Selvam, S Ramalingam (all from DMK), and Kaushalendra Kumar (JD-U).

In Rajya Sabha, among the 34 suspended for the remainder of the session, 12 MPs are from the Congress.

The suspended Rajya Sabha members are: Pramod Tiwari, Jairam Ramesh, Amee Yajnik, Naranbhai J Rathwa, Syed Nasir Hussain, Shrimati Phulo Devi Netam, Shaktisinh Gohil, K C Venugopal, Rajani Ashokrao Patil, Ranjeet Ranjan, Imran Pratapgarhi, Randeep Singh Surjewala (all Congress); and seven members of the TMC: Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Mohammed Nadimul Haque, Abir Ranjan Biswas, Santanu Sen, Mausam Noor, Prakash Chik Baraik and Samirul Islam.

Others suspended for the winter session are M Shanmugam, N. R. Elango, Kanimozhi NVN Somu, R. Girirajan (all DMK), Manoj Kumar Jha, Faiyaz Ahmad (both RJD), V. Sivadasan (CPI-M), Ram Nath Thakur, Aneel Prasad Hegde (both JD-U), Vandana Chavan (NCP), Ram Gopal Yadav, Javed Ali Khan (both SP), Mahua Maji (JMM), Jose K. Mani (KC-M) and Ajit Kumar Bhuyan (IND).

The 11 opposition members whose names have been referred to the privileges committee are – Jebi Mather Hisham, L Hanumanthaiah, Neeraj Dangi, Rajmani Patel, Kumar Ketkar, G. C. Chandrashekhar (all Congress), Binoy Viswam, Sandosh Kumar P (both CPI), Mohamed Abdulla (DMK), John Brittas and A A Rahim (both CPI-M).

The suspension triggered a political slugfest with opposition members terming the action “murder of democracy” and BJP leader and union minister Piyush Goyal claiming that the action was necessary as the opposition MPs insulted the Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman.

Accusing the Congress and its allies of “embarrassing” the country with their conduct, Goyal told reporters that opposition members brought placards and willfully disrupted parliamentary proceedings despite the decision taken earlier that placards would not be allowed in the Houses.

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