Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday announced the suspension of eight opposition members who were involved in demonstrations in the House over the passage of two farm sector bills on Sunday. Several opposition MPs staged demonstrations after the deputy chairman refused calls for a division of votes.
Naidu was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “It was a bad day for Rajya Sabha yesterday when some members came to the well of the House. Deputy chairman was physically threatened. He was obstructed from doing his duty. This is unfortunate and condemnable. I suggest to MPs, please do some introspection.”
The parliamentary affairs minister read out a motion seeking suspension of eight members for the remainder of the session. Naidu put the motion to vote and it was carried by voice vote.
However, opposition members protested against the decision, leading to adjournment of the proceedings for about 20 minutes.
Naidu announced, “Derek O Brien (TMC), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Rajeev Satav (Congress), K.K. Ragesh (CPI(M)), Ripun Bora (Congress), Dola Sen (TMC), Syed Nazir Hussain (Congress) and Elamaran Karim (CPI(M)) suspended for one week for unruly behaviour with the chair”. Naidu asked O’Brien to leave the House.
Naidu also rejected demands for a no-confidence motion against Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh. Naidu said the demand was not admissible under the rules.
Both the opposition and the Narendra Modi government traded charges over the ruckus in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday. Derek O’Brien had declared the passage of the bills was a “murder of democracy”. Six cabinet ministers, led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, addressed a press conference on Sunday evening. The ministers termed the protests as a “shameful” display by the opposition.