DMK MP SR Parthiban
DMK MP SR ParthibanFacebook/File Photo

DMK MP suspended from Parliament despite being absent calls it ‘huge insult’

DMK MP SR Parthiban was among the 15 MPs suspended from Lok Sabha, even though he was on leave. The remaining MPs were suspended after raising concerns about the security breach at the Parliament on December 13.

Tamil Nadu MP SR Parthiban, who was among the 14 Opposition MPs suspended from the Lok Sabha for ‘unruly behaviour’ on December 14, said he didn’t even attend the Parliament when he was suspended as he was on sick leave. Calling it an insult to himself and the Parliament, he called the suspension “shocking”. “They don’t even know who all came to the Parliament. With a grudge against DMK, they suspended someone who wasn’t even present in the House,” the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP from Salem told TNM.  

“I didn’t go today as I was unwell, I had a dry cough. I wanted to go later but the session was adjourned by then. I then saw on television that I was suspended and I was shocked… It’s a huge insult to me and a big mistake from the Speaker’s side,” Parthiban said 

DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin called the suspension, which comes a day after the security breach incident in the Parliament, “undemocratic.” Fourteen MPs of the Lok Sabha were suspended amid chaos after the Opposition leaders raised concerns about the breach of security at the Parliament on December 13. 

Congress MP from Tamil Nadu Karti Chidambaram said there was “comedy” in the suspension. “I guess they can’t make out one Tamilan from another,” he said. 

DMK MP from Dharmapuri Dr S Senthilkumar also pointed out the lapse, calling it a “total mockery of governance.”

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the suspension of an MP who was not even present in the House at the time was “totally bizarre.” “Meanwhile, the BJP MP who facilitated the intruders faces zero consequences,” he said, referring to Karnataka's Mysuru BJP MP, Pratap Simha, on whose reference two of the accused in the incident had obtained visitor passes to the Parliament building. 

The Parliament breach on December 13 happened on the 22nd anniversary of the 2011 Parliament attack. Two men, Manoranjan D and Sagar Sharma, jumped into the well of the House from the visitors' gallery and set off yellow smoke from canisters. They had used visitor passes issued by BJP MP Pratap Simha. Simultaneously, outside the Parliament building, two more people were detained.

Read: Parliament security breach: Who are the six accused?

“Suspension of 15 opposition MPs, including DMK's Kanimozhi and SR Parthiban is highly condemnable. The arrogance and the autocratic behaviour of the fascists are becoming more and more evident with every passing day.  Suppressing the voices of people's representatives questioning the serious security breach in the parliament is an obvious assault on the core principles of democracy and the Constitution. The Union government should give up its intolerant attitude and withdraw the MPs' suspension,” DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin said. 

On December 14, the Lok Sabha witnessed several protests by the Opposition over the security breach on the previous day. Before adjourning the session at 2 pm, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved a motion against Congress MPs Jothimani, Hibi Eden, TN Prathapan, Kumari Ramya Haridas, and Dean Kuriyakose accusing them of utter disregard to the House and wanted the members to be suspended for the service of the House for the remainder of the session under Rule 374 (2). The motion was adopted by voice vote.

Soon after the House reassembled at 3 pm, the Opposition members once again raised slogans demanding the presence of the Prime Minister in the House. This is when Pralhad Joshi moved the resolution to suspend Opposition MPs Benny Behanan, VK Sreekandan, Mohammad Jawed, PR Natarajan, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, K Subrahmanyam, SR Parthiban, S Venkatesan, and Manickam Tagore for gross misconduct. 

Among the 15 suspended MPs (14 from Lok Sabha and one from Rajya Sabha), nine are from the Congress, two from the CPIM, two from the DMK, one from the CPI and one from the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

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