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19th December 2023 (8 Topics)

Unprecedented Parliamentary Turmoil: 78 MPs Suspended in a Day


78 MPs in LokSabha belong to the opposition’s “INDI” Alliance were suspended by the Speaker.

  • In an unprecedented move, 78 Members of Parliament, belonging to the Opposition INDIA group, were suspended in a single day, marking the highest number of suspensions ever recorded in the history of Indian Parliament.
  • The suspensions occurred due to the disruption of Parliamentary proceedings as a protest against the security breach that transpired last week. The total number of suspensions during the Winter Session now stands at 141, with 92 MPs suspended so far.
  • Opposition decried the actions as a "murder of democracy."
  • The Opposition accused the government of disregarding democratic norms, while Government, condemned the "rude behavior" of theopposition, asserting that it had embarrassed the entire country.


Reasons Behind the Mass Suspensions

  • The disruptive conduct leading to the suspensions was primarily linked to the demand for a statement from Home Minister regarding the Parliament security breach.
  • In LokSabha, MPs displayed placards and climbed onto the Speaker's podium, while in RajyaSabha, slogans were raised, causing repeated disruptions.

Root Causes of Parliamentary Disruptions

  • MPs' disruptive behavior in Parliament has historical roots tied to four main factors.

 These include:

  1. The lack of time for MPs to address critical matters,
  2. unresponsive attitudes of the government and retaliatory postures,
  3. deliberate disruptions by parties for political or publicity reasons, and
  4. the absence of prompt action against MPs causing disorder.
  • Over time, the say the Opposition has in determining the Parliamentary calendar has diminished, with the government setting the agenda and prioritizing government business over other matters.

Suspension Mechanism and Duration

  • The Presiding Officer, be it the Speaker of LokSabha or the Chairman of RajyaSabha, plays a vital role in the suspension process.
  • Rules governing suspension have remained largely unchanged since 1952.
  • The process involves directing an MP to withdraw for disorderly conduct, naming the legislator if disruptions persist, and finally, moving a motion to suspend the MP for the session.
  • While mild offenses lead to admonition or reprimand, continued disruptions can result in suspension for the remainder of the session.
  • The LokSabha, in 2001, empowered the Speaker with Rule 374A, allowing automatic suspension for five days or the remaining session for grave and disorderly conduct.
  • However,RajyaSabha has not incorporated this provision.

Rising Trend in MP Suspensions

  • While the suspension of MPs is not uncommon, recent years have witnessed a notable increase.
  • At least 149 suspensions occurred since 2019, compared to 81 in 2014-19 and 36 in 2009-14.
  • Presiding Officers grapple with addressing planned parliamentary offenses and deliberate disturbances, seeking a long-term solution consistent with democratic values.
  • The suspension of 78 MPs in a single day surpasses the previous instance in 1989 when 63 MPs were suspended, signifying a heightened level of tension between the government and the Opposition.
  • The Opposition, now depleted in strength, criticizes the government for attacking democratic norms, potentially allowing the government to pass crucial legislations without dissent.
  • Amidst the chaos, multiple Bills were passed during repeated adjournments.
  • The actions of the government and the Opposition set the stage for a significant shift in the dynamics of parliamentary proceedings and the broader democratic landscape.

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