78 Members of Parliament, comprising both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members, were suspended today for staging protests demanding a statement from Union Home Minister Amit Shah regarding last week’s security breach in Parliament. This follows the suspension of 14 MPs last week for a similar demand, bringing the total number of suspended MPs in this session to a staggering 92.
In Lok Sabha, 30 MPs have been suspended for the remainder of the session, and three face suspension until the privileges committee submits a report on their conduct. Meanwhile, in Rajya Sabha, 35 members face suspension for the rest of the session, and 11 until a report by the privileges panel is presented. Earlier, Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien had faced suspension for demanding a discussion on the security breach.
Prominent figures among the suspended MPs include Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress’s leader in Lok Sabha, Gaurav Gogoi, Congress’s deputy leader in the House, and Trinamool MPs Kalyan Banerjee, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Saugata Ray, and Satabdi Roy. In Rajya Sabha, Jairam Ramesh, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Kanimozhi, and Manoj Kumar Jha are among those suspended.
Expressing outrage, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused the government of dictatorial behaviour, claiming the ruling party treats Parliament as the BJP headquarters.
“This government has reached the apex of dictatorship. They have the majority, and they are wielding the stick of power. They want to run Parliament like a party office. But that cannot happen. We were eager for a discussion. The productivity of Parliament before December 13 is for all to see. It seems they find it easier to talk to the media, but are scared to speak in Parliament,” he said.
Gaurav Gogoi criticized the BJP government for suppressing the opposition and accused the Home Minister of evading responsibility for the security breach. Protest actions are expected to continue outside Lok Sabha.
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge warned that with an Opposition-less Parliament, the government could push through important legislations without debate or dissent.
In response to the demand for a statement, Home Minister Amit Shah has refused, asserting that the security inside the House falls under the secretariat’s purview. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that the government cannot intervene in the Lok Sabha secretariat’s responsibilities.
The security breach on December 13, where intruders jumped from desk to desk and deployed coloured smoke in the Lok Sabha chamber, has fueled the political fire. The intruders aimed to draw attention to issues such as Manipur violence, unemployment, and farmers’ problems. A total of six people have been arrested, and Delhi Police have invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a stringent anti-terror law, against the trespassers.
As the parliamentary chaos continues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has labelled the security breach as “very serious” and called for a detailed investigation. At the same time, the Opposition demands accountability and transparency from the Home Minister.