The motion was adopted by the Lok Sabha with a voice vote against the Congress members from Telangana region: Sarvashri Ponnam Prabhakar, Madhu Goud Yaskhi, Manda Jagannath, Sarvashri Gutha Sukhender Reddy, KRG Reddy, Rajaiah Siricilla, Porika Balram Naik and Gaddam Vivekanand.
Suspension of MPs from either Houses of Parliament for their unruly behavior is not uncommon, but a party moving a motion seeking suspension of its own members is something unusual, not been witnessed in the recent past.
The Congress MPs, led by Prabhakar, forced three repeated adjournments of the House till 2 pm, creating ruckus over the issue of statehood to Telangana region, since the beginning of the first day’s session in the morning.
As many times the House reassembled, the Congress members stormed into the Well of the House demanding the government declare Telangana region in Andhra a separate state. They also waived pro-Telangana posters and chanted slogans like: “We want Telangana.”
Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was present in the House in the first half of the day when her party MPs created ruckus over Telangana issue. They did not even pay heed to Home Minister P Chidambaram, who requested them to get back to their seats.
As the eight agitating Congress MPs staged a sit-in refusing to leave the Well, Francisco Cosme Sardinha, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House for the day at 2:30 pm only after a motion of suspension against them was adopted with a voice vote. “Now please withdraw from the House. You people have been suspended from the service of the House,” Sardinha told the MPs.
The Congress MPs had been warned of action by the Chair several times before the motion of suspension was moved against them by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal following a recommendation from Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee in this regard.
The action came soon after the Congress top brass including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi held a meeting over the issue. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had taken the Opposition into confidence. He held a meeting with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Gurudas Dasgupta and the Leader of Opposition, Sushma Swaraj, according to sources.
Later, justifying the party’s move, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the party was “patient and perseverant” with the party members who represented Telangana region. “But when you are with an organisation, there are ways within which you have to function. There are several issues that country is facing which are equally important,” he underlined.
Tewari described Telangana statehood issue as “complex problem,” saying that the “Congress party is sensitive to the Telangana issue. The Centre is talking to various stakeholders to find a way out. Telangana is a work in progress.”