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1989 Thakkar Commission To 1993 Ayodhya Dispute: Looking Back At Mass Suspensions In Parliament

On Monday, the Parliament saw the suspension of 33 Lok Sabha members and 45 Rajya Sabha members, the most ever in a day, with an additional 14 Opposition MPs having been suspended the previous week. On Tuesday, another 49 MPs faced suspension, resulting in a total of 141 suspensions during this session.

Suspended TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee
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As Opposition MPs continue to be suspended for demanding a discussion on the recent Parliament security breach, the Lok Sabha and Rajya are practically left with no Opposition in the house.

On Monday, the Parliament saw the suspension of 33 Lok Sabha members and 45 Rajya Sabha members, the most ever in a day, with an additional 14 Opposition MPs having been suspended the previous week. On Tuesday, another 49 MPs faced suspension, resulting in a total of 141 suspensions during this session.

Although there have been cases of mass suspension of MPs in the past, this is the first time it’s happened on a scale as large as this.

1989 

In 1989, 63 MPs were suspended from Lok Sabha when they protested and disrupted proceedings demanding discussion of the Thakkar Commission report in the Parliament, dealing with the investigation into assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Opposition parties believed the report contained crucial information about the assassination of Indira Gandhi and needed to be debated openly in Parliament. They felt that tabling it would ensure transparency and hold those responsible accountable, especially since it raised potential involvement of RK Dhawan, a close aide of then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The Rajiv Gandhi-led government was against tabling of the report.

Speaker Balram Jakhar suspended 63 MPs from the House for three days when they started shouting slogans and caused interruptions. Among the suspended MPs, the majority included opposition MPs from BJP and Janata Dal and some MPs from Congress.

1998

In March 1998, 55 MPs from various parties were suspended for disrupting proceedings during a heated debate on the AIADMK leadership crisis. Internal conflicts within the party spilled over into the Parliament. Members started accusing each other leading to heated debates and some MPs resorted to disorderly conduct, including shouting slogans and entering the well of the House. 

To maintain decorum, Speaker Ganti Mohanta invoked his powers to suspend the protesting members.

1993

In 1993, 28 MPs were suspended over debates on the Ayodhya land dispute. It is believed that some MPs engaged in disruptive behaviour, leading to unruly protests within the Parliament. The speaker then suspended them to restore Parliamentary decorum in the house.

2015

In 2015, a total of 42 MPs were suspended. In February, 25 Congress MPs were suspended from the Lok Sabha for five days for disrupting proceedings during a debate on land acquisition amendments. They argued the unfair provisions in the bill gave the government too much power to acquire land from farmers for development projects without adequate compensation.

While 17 Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MPs were suspended in November for disrupting proceedings related to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act. The TRS MPs were demanding special category status for Telangana after the recent bifurcation of the state, which they argued would provide additional financial and developmental resources to Telangana.

2019

In November 2019, 24 AIADMK MPs, upset by the surprise BJP Maharashtra government formation, stormed the well with placards and slogans leading to a five-day suspension. In December, another 21 MPs including AIADMK, TDP, and YSR Congress members, were suspended for protesting against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.

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