Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. (File photo)
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended 12 Telugu Desam Party lawmakers for stalling the House proceedings on Thursday. The TDP leaders were protesting in the Lower House demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh. The lawmakers have been barred from attending the proceedings for next four days under rule 374A. The suspension comes a day after Mahajan suspended 26 All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) members for 'continuously coming to the Well of the House and obstructing proceedings' on Wednesday. The Lower House saw repeated adjournments on Wednesday as several AIADMK and DMK members protested over the Cauvery river dam issue while Congress MPs raised slogans for a JPC probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Speaking to news agency ANI, AIADMK's M Thambidurai had said, "Now elections are coming, so BJP wants to get some seats there, that is why they gave approval to Karnataka for Mekedatu dam project. Protesting is our democratic right, there has been no response from the government"
The AIADMK members trooped into the well of the House and raised slogans demanding justice. The Tamil Nadu parties are protesting against the proposed Mekedatu dam in Karnataka on Cauvery, claiming that it will affect farmers in their state. Later, they were joined by several TDP members who have been demanding special financial assistance for Amravati, the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
While the House was adjourned once in the morning, later it was again adjourned till 2 PM during the Question Hour, despite assurances by the government that Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari would make a statement on the Cauvery river issue.
As soon as the AIADMK members started their protest, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that their problem would not be solved like this and asked them to discuss the issue with the minister concerned.
"I don't think it sends the right message to your state... this unruly behaviour must stop," she told the protesting members. Mahajan has adjourned the proceedings of Lok Sabha till 11 am on January 3.