Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan made it a point Thursday to underline the disruptions by the Opposition and referred to her decision to suspend 25 Congress members as a “tough action” she was forced to take as “a last resort and a last option”.
Before adjourning the House sine die Thursday, with the Opposition benches empty, she spoke about the time lost due to disruptions and hoped the Speaker would not need to resort to a suspension again.
“Members, I want to share my thoughts with you. Ever since the session started, some members have been… disrupting the proceedings. I was requesting them not to show placards and come to the well…” she said in her valedictory address.
“ I called for an all-party meeting on July 30… I impressed upon the leaders that under the parliamentary system, every issue can be discussed and a solution can be found. But since the members continued to persistently disrupt the proceedings, I had to resort to suspension of some members on August 3 for five days. You may kindly appreciate that I had to take this tough action as a last resort and last option. I am sure that the chair will not be forced to resort to this step in the future,” she added.
Earlier in the day, Mahajan said she had rejected notices of adjournment motions moved by members of the Congress, the CPM, the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the RJD, adding that they were free to raise the matters later. Congress MPs immediately rushed to the well, once again holding placards and raising slogans . They were joined by members of the Left parties.
The Opposition was seeking the Prime Minister’s reply to the charges against Union Minister Sushma Swaraj and two BJP chief ministers in the Lalit Modi controversy and the Vyapam scam.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said Sushma had not replied to the seven questions he had raised Wednesday. Amid chanting of slogans, Congress, Left and Trinamool MPs walked out. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and the RJD’s J P N Yadav seemed to want to raise the issue of the caste census and walked out when this was turned down.
During the session, 10 bills were introduced and six were passed in the Lok Sabha, which sat for 47 hours 27 minutes but lost 34 hours 4 minutes due to the protests. However, the House also sat late for 5 hours 27 minutes to compensate for some of the time lost.