Seven Indian National Congress (INC) MPs were suspended from the remaining session of Loksabha on Thursday. Sources say the government may now demand the termination of the Lok Sabha membership of Gaurav Gogoi for the remaining term. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has approved the formation of a committee to investigate Gaurav Gogoi’s paper snatching case. Within this session, such a committee will be formed.
The speaker said this was an action for the MPs’ “gross misconduct” after they snatched papers from his table. Birla cited the suspended MPs’ “utter disregard” for house rules.
Among the INC MPs who have been suspended are Gaurav Gogoi, TN Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, Manicka Tagore, Rajmohan Unnithan, Benny Behanan and Gurjeet Singh Aujla.
When the house met at 3 PM after an adjournment, BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi, who was presiding over the house, implicated the lawmakers. This meant, according to the rules, that the named MPs couldn’t attend the parliament for that day.
Lekhi said when the House was discussing the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, these members “forcefully” snatched and tossed papers from the speaker podium. “Such unfortunate incident has possibly happened for the first time in the parliamentary history… I condemn this behaviour,” she said while naming the members.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi thereafter moved a motion to suspend the members from Sansad for the remaining period of the budget session. The motion was passed by a voice vote amid protests by opposition members.
After getting suspended from the Lok Sabha for the rest of the session, Gaurav Gogoi tweeted, “Suspend me but please discuss Delhi riots tomorrow. Show your accountability towards the very people who voted for you. No matter the number my party INC derives it’s (sic) strength from our commitment towards Bharat Mata and we will continue to seek justice from PM Modi.”
Quoting Gogoi’s tweet, Sushmita Dev of the INC questioned why no action had been taken against Anurag Thakur and Kapil Mishra. This was a reference to the opposition’s allegation that the two BJP leaders delivered hate speeches during and after the Delhi election campaign respectively.
During the election campaign, Thakur had addressed a crowd with the slogan “desh ke gaddāron ko” while his followers said “goli māro s**lon ko“, the two phrases together conveying the sense “shoot the traitors of the nation”.
Mishra had, early last week, appealed to Delhi Police to clear the blockades in Delhi put up by Muslims supported by communists before visiting US President Donald Trump left the country.