Seven Rajya Sabha MPs suspended for unruly behaviour

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Furious at the continuous disruptions over the women’s reservation bill, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari Tuesday suspended seven opposition MPs for the remaining part of the session and adjourned the house till 2 p.m.

Those suspended are Samajwadi Party’s Kamal Akhtar, Veerpal Singh Yadav, Amir Alam Khan and Nand Kishore Yadav, Janata Dal-United’s (JD-U) Ejaz Ali, Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP) Sabir Ali and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Subhash Prasad Yadav.

The seven continued to squat near the chairman’s podium even after the house was adjourned. Marshals would have to be called in to forcibly evict them if they continued sitting when the house meets again at 2 p.m.

Signs of trouble had been there since morning when a handful of MPs noisily voiced their protest against the passing the historic women’s bill that promises to reserve 33 percent of legislative seats for women.

Akhtar and other MPs from his party as the RJD were immediately on their feet. When the din continued, the house was adjourned till 12 noon.

The protests continued when the house reassembled. About 10 MPs, including Akhtar and JD-U’s Ali, advanced towards the chairman’s podium shouting slogans like ‘Tanashahi nahi chalegi’ (Down with dictatorship).

Amid the pandemonium, Ansari called for official papers to be laid following which Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithiviraj Chavan moved a resolution for suspending the seven MPs.

The resolution was passed by voice vote.

On Monday, SP’s Nand Kishore Yadav tried to climb up to the chairman’s desk but was prevented by a marshal. Subhash Yadav of RJD attempted to assault the parliament secretary general seated below the podium. This happened when Ansari tried to move the women’s bill for consideration.

Subhash Yadav is RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s brother-in-law.

There were unprecedented scenes with the MPs opposed to the bill tearing up the document and hurling the pieces at Ansari.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned six times Monday. The voting, which was supposed to be held at 6 p.m., had to be postponed after a handful of opposition members protested its passage. The voting is scheduled for Tuesday.

Indications are that there will be a debate when the Rajya Sabha meets at 2 p.m. to be followed by voting on the bill.

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