New Delhi: High drama was witnessed in Lok Sabha on Thursday as an exasperated government brought a motion to suspend 11 members from Andhra Pradesh, including seven from Congress, for protesting over Telangana issue, but an aggressive opposition scuttled the move.
Hell broke loose as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath moved a motion to suspend seven Congress and four TDP members for "disturbing the proceedings regularly" since the beginning of the Monsoon session from August 5.
Moving the motion, Nath said, "Unfortunately the House has not been able to function since the beginning of this session in light of the protests by these members."
Nath brought the motion as TDP members were in the Well protesting division of Andhra Pradesh, repeating the scenes witnessed ever since the session began.
Immediately, members of almost the entire opposition were on their feet, vociferously protesting the motion.
Kalyan Banerjee (TMC) stormed the Well as several members angrily shouted "no, no" in disapproval of the motion.
N Sivaprasad, an agitating TDP member who was in the Well and is among those named by Nath, took out a whip while his party colleague M Venugopala Reddy tried to pull down microphones on the Speaker's podium.
Later, a Congress member who was among those named also stormed the Well along with his agitating party colleagues. He too tried to pull down the microphones. However, alert Lok Sabha staff prevented it.
In the midst of ruckus, Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House at around 12:15 PM for nearly 30 minutes.
When the House reassembled, it was adjourned for the day as commotion continued.
In the process, consideration of the much-touted Food Security Bill, slated to be taken up today, was again scuttled. The Land Acquisition Bill, another crucial legislation was also listed on the day's agenda.
Nath's announcement came soon after uproar over the issue of missing files in coalgate died down following government's assurance on intervention by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after a statement from the coal minister and a debate on the issue.
The Opposition was demanding that the Prime Minister come to the House and make a statement as the issue was serious with the alleged coal block allocation scam being a massive one.
Nath said that the government has "nothing to hide and nothing to conceal" on the coal issue after Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said that the opposition wanted the House to run but the Prime Minister was not ready to give clarifications.
The TDP members named in the motion are K Nimmala, K N Rao, M Venugopala Reddy and N Sivaprasad, while the six Congress members are A Sai Prathap, A Venkatarami Reddy, L Rajagopal, M Sreenivasulu Reddy, V Aruna Kumar and G V Harsha Kumar.
In the motion, the minister said the 10 members who "behaved in a manner unbecoming of MPs by continuously disturbing the proceedings of the House be suspended from services of the House for the remainder of the session".
Soon after Swaraj opposed the motion and the House was adjourned till 12:45, several Congress members from Telangana, including Ponnam Prabhakar, were seen arguing with her asking her why BJP did not support them when they were suspended earlier.
After adjourning the House at 12:15, the Speaker called a meeting of leaders of various parties to discuss the motion to suspend the MPs over Telangana issue.
Opposing the motion, Swaraj said, "I want to say categorically that we are in favour of Telangana. We have supported it fully. I have raised this issue earlier in the House on three occasions."
Swaraj sought to lay the blame for not running of the House in the current session on the Congress saying the "inappropriate manner" in which it has announced the formation of Telangana has created problems.
"They have not even been able to convince their own chief minister (of Andhra Pradesh). Their MLAs from Andhra come and stage a dharna at the Gandhi statue in Parliament. Their MPs shout and disrupt proceedings," Swaraj said.