NEW DELHI: In an unusually strong move, the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre on Tuesday got eight of its members in Lok Sabha — who refused to give up their persistent demand for a separate Telangana state — suspended for four days from the House.
In an embarrassment for the ruling party, the Congress MPs belonging to the Telangana region, raised slogans and waved placards in the House, demanding that a separate Telangana state be carved out of Andhra Pradesh, forcing three adjournments of the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The suspension move was preceded by top-level confabulations among the Congress brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi, on the issue.
The suspended Congress MPs — all from the Telangana region — are Ponnam Prabhakar, Madhu Yaskhi Goud, M Jagannath, K R G Reddy, G Viveknanda, Balram Naik, Sukender Reddy Gutha and S Rajaiah.
The suspension motion was moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. He later said that it was a “unanimous House move”.
The suspension motion was carried through after Francisco Sardinha, who was in the Chair, warned the Congress MPs of “action” if they failed to go to their seats when they protested in the Well campaigning for a separate Telangana.
The measure was, however, not unprecedented.
Constitutional expert Subhash C Kashyap told Express that way back during former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s time, he himself had moved for the expulsion of partyman H G Mudgal from the House, who was charged in a bribery case. “There are at least a couple of more such examples when the ruling Congress moved for the suspension / expulsion of a ruling partyman from the House,” Kashyap said.
Tuesday’s move was, however, unusual on one count — it involved a group of ruling Congress MPs.
In 1988, about 50 Opposition members were suspended following protests over the Bofors issue, recalled CPM’s Basudeb Acharia.