‘Is this dictatorship’? Congress fumes after Speaker suspends 7 Lok Sabha MPs for unruly behaviour

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Published: March 5, 2020 5:01 PM

The suspended members reportedly reached the well of the House, demanding the suspension of RLP MP Hanuman Beniwal.

Hanuman Beniwal, lok sabhaHanuman Beniwal (ANI)

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday suspended seven Congress MPs till the remainder of the ongoing Budget session. The decision was taken after a motion was passed in the Lower House of the Parliament. The suspended members reportedly reached the well of the House, demanding the suspension of Hanuman Beniwal, a Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) MP, who had earlier suggested that a Cornovirus test should be conducted on the Gandhi family, as they recently returned from Italy. RLP is a constituent of the NDA government.

Congress MPs who have been suspended include Gaurav Gogoi, T N Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, Manicka Tagore, Rajmohan Unnithan, Benny Behanan and Gurjeet Singh Aujla.

Earlier in the day, the RLP MP from Rajasthan told ANI, “Italy is badly affected with Coronavirus so I requested the government that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi be tested for Coronavirus since they have recently come back from Italy.”

Slamming his statement, senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Shameful that Modi ji is using Hanuman Beniwal who has lost his mental balance, to use such low level and shameful words for Sonia ji and Rahul ji. We strongly condemn such irresponsible and imbecile comments.”

The party also slammed the decision to suspend its seven MPs for the remaining part of the ongoing Budget session, accusing the government of trying to avoid the discussion on violence in northeast Delhi. “Is this a dictatorship? It seems government doesn’t want Delhi violence issue to be discussed in Parliament that is why this suspension. We strongly condemn this,” Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi pointed out the step was necessitated as these seven MPs had thrown papers on the Speaker’s chair. “They reached the height of indiscipline and arrogance. Some pieces of paper were directly thrown at Speaker’s chair (in Lok Sabha). This is highly condemnable and unpardonable”, he said, welcoming the Speaker’s decision.

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