The Lok Sabha reverberated with controversy as the suspension of Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury unfolded, pending a comprehensive inquiry by the privileges committee.
In an unexpected move, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi put forward a resolution for Chowdhury's suspension, citing disruptive behavior that consistently disrupted proceedings, particularly when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ministers addressed the House or debates were underway. The resolution, approved through a voice vote, has thrust the House into a spirited debate on democratic norms and accountability.
Reacting to the suspension, the Congress expressed astonishment, branding the action as "unbelievable" and "undemocratic." Congress whip in Lok Sabha, Manickam Tagore, criticized the move, highlighting the significance of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's role as the leader of the principal opposition party, as reported by PTI.
In a charged session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Joshi lamented the pattern of behavior exhibited by Adhir, emphasizing that despite repeated warnings, no improvements were made. Joshi asserted, "In his debates, he levels unfounded allegations, attempting to undermine the government's integrity. There is an absence of substantiated facts in his arguments, coupled with a reluctance to apologize."
The suspension resolution, proposed by Joshi, encapsulated the severity of the situation, reading, "This House, having noted the significant, deliberate, and recurrent misconduct of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, showing disregard for the House's integrity and the authority of the chair, resolves to refer the matter of his misconduct to the Committee of Privileges for an in-depth investigation and subsequent report. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury shall remain suspended from parliamentary duties until the committee presents its findings."
Interestingly, the opposition had earlier staged a walkout during the prime minister's response to the no-confidence motion debate, expressing dissatisfaction with the proceedings. BJP MP Virendra Singh, also implicated for unruly behavior, issued an apology to the chair, adding another layer to the day's events.