Automatic suspension on cards, Speaker holds meeting of Rules committee

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New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Friday held a meeting of Rules Committee and discussed ways to put a break on MPs trooping near Speaker’s podium and holding placards in the House.

During the discussion suggestions such as automatic suspension of a member if s/he enters the well and punishment for those who hold placards came prominently, but teh lack of unanimity ensured nothing was finalised.

Sources present in the meeting said a draft report to change the rule 374A would be presented to the committee after a broad discussion with political parties and would be submitted to the Committee chaired by Speaker Mahajan.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, also a member of the committee, didn’t turn up for the meeting, but protested the move.

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In a letter to the Speaker, he urged that any such move should be left on the next Lok Sabha.

The idea was opposed by the BJP’s Nishikant Dubey and BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab citing the present state of affairs in the Lower House.

According to sources, Dubey said it was the right time to change the rules before the next general election while Mahtab said due to pandemonium in the House, he could not raise many important matters of public importance.

TMC’s Sudip Bandopadhyay, too, did not attend the meeting but informed the Speaker that his party supported any move on the issue, saying the TMC members never enter the well.

Some of the members also suggested to form a law on the lines of Chhattisgarh Assembly where there is a provision of automatic suspension if one enters the well to protest.

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Upset with the continuous uproar in the Lok Sabha and behaviour of some of the members during proceedings, Mahajan on Thursday met the floor leaders of various parties and expressed her anguish.

As her attempts to break the logjam between the government and the opposition on different issues including Rafale went in vain, she convened the meeting of the Rules Committee.

The Speaker has taken serious exception to the display of placards by members in the House.

The Congress has been protesting in the Lok Sabha demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 36 ready-to-fly Rafale fighter jet deal with France while accusing the government of lying before the Supreme Court on the matter.

The AIADMK members have been protesting against construction of a dam across the Cauvery river at Mekadatu, while the TDP has been raising several issues related to their demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh.

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During their protests, the members held placards and tried to cover the Speaker’s or other members’ face to find a place in the camera frame as they spoke.

–IANS

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