Rajya Sabha on Tuesday witnessed high drama over the suspension of TMC MP Derek O’Brien with the Chairman first announcing that he has to withdraw from the House but later said the motion to suspend him was not put to vote and hence, he could continue to attend the proceedings.
O’Brien was allowed to attend the House proceedings after Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said he has taken a “far-sighted” decision to not allow voting on the motion to suspend him which did not fructify.
The Chairman had earlier announced the suspension of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader for his unruly behaviour in the House.
Several members, including Pramod Tiwari (Congress), urged the Chair to take a lenient view on O’Brien, but the Chairman asked why he should show leniency.
“If O’Brien would have been suspended from the House for this session, do you think he would have been allowed to enter the House again? Can he come back again?” the chairman said, adding that for him action against any member is a mater of pain.
“I have ended my own pain, no one has done that. If the motion was passed fully, O’Brien could not have entered the House again.
“How he was allowed to enter the House as the motion against O’Brien could not fructify. I did not take that sense of the House deliberately. It is my obligation to ensure to an extreme degree that the House runs. I have been extremely accommodative whenever the TMC MP has come to my chamber and requested him,” Dhankhar said.
At this, O’Brien objected, saying he never went to Dhankhar’s chamber between 11 am and 12 noon on Tuesday, following which the Chairman asked members if the House if such a behaviour should be allowed.
“Do you approve of this conduct. Do you approve of it…,” the Chairman said.
Earlier in the day, the Chairman asked leader of the house Piyush Goyal to move the motion against the TMC MP.
Goyal said he wished to move a motion for the suspension of O’Brien for the remainder of the session for continuously disrupting the proceedings of the House and disobeying the Chair.
“Derek O’Brien is suspended for the remaining part of the current session for his unruly behaviour unbecomming of a member today, shouting slogans from the well of the House, thereby disregarding instructions of the Chair and for bringing disrepute to the House,” the motion read by Goyal said.
The Chairman then announced, “Derek O’Brien is directed to leave the House. He is suspended for the rest of the session”, as he announced adjournment of the House till 12 noon.
When the Upper House met, he sought views of the members on whether they approved the behaviour of O’Brien.
Goyal later said he regretted on behalf of the member and urged the TMC member concerned to also express regret.
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