Taking a 'calculated risk', Congress suspends 8 MPs

In an unprecedented move, the Congress yesterday moved to get eight of its MPs suspended from the Lok Sabha for repeatedly disrupting the house over separate statehood to Telangana.

Suspension of unruly MPs is not new in the house, but the ruling party recommending it against its own members is virtually unheard of.

The MPs, who were suspended for four days, also include Madhu Yaskhi Goud, M Jagannath, KRG Reddy, G Viveknanda, Balram Naik, Sukender Reddy Gutha and S Rajaiah. They were first warned of action if they didn’t move to their seats after their protests led to three adjournments of the house.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were in the house as the party MPs disrupted proceedings, refusing to heed the requests of senior ministers P Chidambaram and PK Bansal to get back to their seats. Some of the protesting MPs trooped out of their seats towards the speaker’s chair.

Congress sources said it was a “calculated risk” because the suspension could backfire when the government needs numbers in the house to pass finance bill.

The sources said that the government had taken opposition leaders into confidence and there was no need to worry particularly after Mukherjee met Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav and the Left’s Gurudas Dasgupta.

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