Several Opposition MPs Suspended From Rajya Sabha For Rest Of The Week

Opposition MPs have been demanding a discussion in the Parliament on inflation and GST. Four Congress Lok Sabha MPs were suspended on Monday.

Several Opposition MPs Suspended From Rajya Sabha For Rest Of The Week

A day after four Congress MPs were suspended from Lok Sabha, 19 MPs were on Tuesday suspended from Rajya Sabha for the rest of the week. Six of the suspended MPs were from Trinamool Songress (TMC) and seven were from DMK. 

Rajya Sabha proceedings were also adjourned for an hour as suspended Opposition MPs did not leave House and continued to protest.

They were suspended as they did not heed to Deputy Chairman Harvansh's repeated pleas to leave the Well of the House and go back to their seats.

The suspended MPs included Abir Biswas, Mausam Noor, Sushmita Dev, Shanta Chhetri, Mohammad Abdullah, AA Rahim, L Yadav and V Sivadasan, according to India Today. ANI reported that TMC's Dr Santanu Sen and Dola Sen were also suspended. 

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan moved a motion to suspend 10 MPs, but when it was adopted by a voice vote, Harivansh read out the names of 19 members who have been suspended for the rest of the week.

Besides TMC and DMK, three suspended members were from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), two from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and one from the Communist Party of India (CPI). Harivansh said the MPs were suspended for showing "utter disregard" to the House and the authority of the Chair. 

Opposition MPs have been demanding a discussion in the Parliament on inflation and Goods and Services Tax (GST). They have been stalling the proceedings since the start of the monsoon session on July 18 over these topics.

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday questioned in a tweet the refusal for the discussion.

He said, "Entire Opposition is demanding urgent debate on price rise and GST in Rajya Sabha under Rule 267. A Rule invoked number of times, most recently on 16.11.2016 to debate demonetisation, on 10.08.2016 to discuss J&K, and on 23.04.2015 to debate agrarian crisis. Why is Modi Government refusing now?"

The government on Tuesday said that it's up for a discussion on inflation and GST. It added that the decision to suspend was taken with a "heavy heart".

Union minister Piyush Goyal said, "Government [is] ready for debate on price rise once Finance Minister Sitharaman recovers, returns to Parliament. Decision to suspend Opposition MPs from Rajya Sabha taken with heavy heart, they repeatedly ignored Chairman's appeals."

Sitharaman is currently coronavirus positive. PTI reported that she contracted coronavirus on her Indonesia trip, from which she returned on July 17.

Earlier on Monday, four Congress MPs were suspended for the rest of the monsoon session. They were Manickam Tagore, TN Prathapan, Jothimani and Ramya Haridas. They were suspended for displaying placards and disrupting proceedings despite a warning by Speaker Om Birla.

The issues being raised by suspended Lok Sabha on Monday were also rising prices and GST. Following Monday's suspension, the Congress party said the government was trying to "intimidate" it and asserted that the party will not be cowed down.

"The MPs were holding placards raising the issues of rise in prices of gas cylinder, imposition of GST on items such as flour and buttermilk. We moved an adjournment motion demanding a discussion on these issues, but no discussion was held," said Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi on Monday.

(With PTI inputs)