New Delhi, Aug 23: Cracking the whip, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Friday suspended for at least five sittings 12 members from Andhra Pradesh who have been agitating against decision to form Telangana and paralysing the House since the current session began on August 5.
The Speaker named the members - 8 from Congress and 4 TDP - for "grave disorder" after two brief adjournments of the House due to disruptions by their continued protests. All of them belong to Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. The action was taken under rule Rule 374(A) of Rules of Procedure of the Lok Sabha.
As per the rule, a member after being named by the Speaker stands "automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less". The rule also states: "Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated."
The rule regarding automatic suspension is applied in the event of "grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the Well of the House or abusing the rules of the House persistently and willfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans". The action came a day after the government's effort to bring a motion for suspension of 10 members of the two parties was scuttled by a united opposition.
This is the second instance of suspension of members in the present Lok Sabha. More than a year back, eight pro-Telangana Congress members had been suspended from the House for similar reasons.