'Let Whole Country Watch This,' Says Speaker, Suspends 6 Congress MPs

Sumitra Mahajan said she was constrained to name the MPs for their improper behaviour. The opposition has announced a dharna or sit-in in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Parliament house tomorrow morning.

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'Let Whole Country Watch This,' Says Speaker, Suspends 6 Congress MPs

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Sumitra Mahajan suspended six lawmakers for five days for throwing papers in Lok Sabha.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. The six lawmakers have been suspended for five days
  2. Opposition leaders to protest tomorrow
  3. Opposition wanted Lok Sabha to discuss rising incidents of mob attacks
Six Congress lawmakers have been suspended for five days by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for their "highly unbecoming" conduct as they attempted to raise the issue of mob lynchings in the lower house of Parliament today. The Congress MPs tore paper and threw the pieces towards the Speaker's chair. 

"The entire country should watch this...Show it, let them watch," Ms Mahajan said angrily. She said that the Congress lawmakers grabbed files from a table and tore and threw paper. "Those are official papers. Doing that is a crime," she said, adding, "Creating a ruckus at the Well is non-disciplinary in itself but tearing up paper and throwing it at the Speaker four times was worse."

She announced the suspension soon after the Lok Sabha reconvened at 2 pm, prompting the opposition to launch another protest and force the house to be adjourned, first till 2.30 and then for the day. 

Congress president Sonia Gandhi was in the House when members of her party trooped into the well or Centre of the House raising slogans and then threw paper. Mrs Gandhi later met other opposition leaders in her office and they have announced a dharna or sit-in in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Parliament house tomorrow morning in protest against the suspension.

The Congress' Leader in the House Mallikarjun Kharge said the punishment was "harsh," though he did not support what his party's lawmakers had done. "Suspending our six members, while the President is being welcomed and his oath ceremony is there, is not appropriate, not good for democracy," he said.
  
Sumitra Mahajan said the Congress MPs had launched protests despite her agreeing to an opposition request for a discussion on alleged atrocities against Dalits and minorities. 

As she announced the suspension, lawmakers from the ruling BJP shouted, "shame, shame."

"If the Opposition want to speak, they should give notice. The entire House condemns such action. We don't accept such action from the Congress party. This is shameful and action should be taken against the members who threw papers towards the Chair," said parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar, who moved a motion that the Congress MPs be suspended.

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