Security Breach Fallout: 141 MPs Suspended, Opposition Protests Intensify

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Security Breach Fallout: 141 MPs Suspended, Opposition Protests Intensify

| Updated: December 19, 2023 13:36

In an unprecedented move, a total of 141 Members of Parliament (MPs) have faced suspension from both Houses of Parliament during the ongoing session, marking a record high. The suspension of 79 Opposition MPs on a single day was followed by an additional 49 members facing similar actions on the subsequent day.

Prominent political figures, including National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Karti Chidambaram, NCP’s Supriya Sule, and Samajwadi Party’s Dimple Yadav, were among those suspended by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for disrupting proceedings.

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The backdrop of the suspensions is the Opposition’s protest over a significant security breach in the Lok Sabha last week. The MPs have been demanding that Union Home Minister Amit Shah address the Parliament regarding the security failure that allowed two intruders to enter the Lok Sabha chamber, traverse desks, and release colored smoke from canisters.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has consistently asserted that any security-related incidents in the House fall under the secretariat’s purview and that the central government will not be allowed to intervene. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, acknowledging the seriousness of the security breach, called for an investigation but expressed his stance against initiating a debate on the matter.

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The wave of suspensions began a week ago when Opposition MPs sought a statement from the Home Minister. Thirteen Lok Sabha MPs and one Rajya Sabha MP were initially suspended for unruly behavior. The following day witnessed a historic 79 suspensions across both Houses. The latest 47 suspensions add to this tally.

Of the 141 suspended MPs, most face suspension for the remainder of the session, while some await a privileges committee report on their conduct in the House. The suspended MPs have been protesting against their suspension on the Parliament premises.

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In response to the recent suspensions, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh claimed in a post that a “complete purge” is underway to pass draconian bills without meaningful debate. He alleged that the suspension spree also aims to shield the BJP MP whose office facilitated the entry of the two intruders.

The latest suspensions occurred as Opposition members raised slogans, entered the Well of the House, waved placards, and, in some cases, carried a morphed picture of Prime Minister Modi. The Speaker warned against such actions, stating that it violated parliamentary rules. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi called for action against MPs carrying the Prime Minister’s morphed picture, emphasizing the need for responsible behavior in the House.

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