New Delhi: Cracking the whip, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today suspended for at least five sittings 12 members from Andhra Pradesh who have been agitating against decision to form Telangana and paralysing the House since the current session began on August 5.
The Speaker named the members - 8 from Congress and 4 TDP - for "grave disorder" after two brief adjournments of the House due to disruptions by their continued protests. All of them belong to Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
The action was taken under rule Rule 374(A) of Rules of Procedure of the Lok Sabha. As per the rule, a member after being named by the Speaker stands "automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less".
The rule also states: "Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated."
The rule regarding automatic suspension is applied in the event of "grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the Well of the House or abusing the rules of the House persistently and willfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans".
The action came a day after the government`s effort to bring a motion for suspension of 10 members of the two parties was scuttled by a united opposition.
This is the second instance of suspension of members in the present Lok Sabha. More than a year back, eight pro-Telangana Congress members had been suspended from the House for similar reasons.
Announcing the action today, the Speaker told the erring members, "You may forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House."
The members, who were named, are A Sai Prathap, Anantha Venkatarami Reddy, L Raja Gopal, Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, V Aruna Kumar, G V Harsha Kumar, Bapi Raju Kanumuru, Sabbam Hari (all Cong), Modugula Venugopala Reddy, Niramalli Sivaprasad, Nimalla Kristappa and Konakalla Narayana Rao (all TDP).
Of them, the names of Bapi Raju Kanumuru and Sabbam Hari - both from Congress - were not included in yesterday`s motion.
Soon after the action, the House was adjourned for the day at around 12:30 PM.
However, defiant TDP members continued to remain in the House even after the adjournment.
With the adjournment, consideration and passage of the landmark Food Security Bill remained pending. The bill has been listed since Monday but could not be taken up because of repeated disruptions.
Unlike yesterday, the situation in the House was different today as only the suspended members raised slogans when the Speaker read out the decision while the rest of the members were silent.
The House had witnessed ruckus yesterday after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath moved the motion, which had been immediately opposed by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj.
The Speaker held a meeting of leaders of various parties to resolve the issue yesterday. After this effort failed, another meeting was convened by her this morning in which the opposition agreed to the action.