New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday alleged that the suspension of its seven members from Lok Sabha for the entire session was a "dictatorial decision" by the government aimed at weakening the Opposition's voice ahead of a debate over Delhi riots.
Lok Sabha passed a motion suspending seven Congress members for the remaining period of the Budget session for their "gross misconduct" after they snatched papers from the Speaker's table and "utter disregard" for House rules.
As soon as the House met at 3 pm following an adjournment, Meenakshi Lekhi, who was presiding the House, named Gaurav Gogoi, T N Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, Manicka Tagore, Rajmohan Unnithan, Benny Behanan and Gurjeet Singh Aujla.
Reacting to the development, Congress's leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said it was a "government decision" and not one taken by the Speaker.
Asserting that the Congress members had done noting wrong, Chowdhury said it was a "dictatorial decision" and one that was motivated by "revenge politics".
"We saw revenge politics in House, orders were given by the chairperson to suspend seven Cong MPs for this session," he said.
Chowdhury alleged that the suspension was an attempt to weaken the party in the House as the government fears a discussion on the Delhi riots in Parliament.
"Whether suspending seven MPs is right, people will decide. We will not be scared and will continue to raise the Delhi riots issue," he said.
Gogoi, who was among the suspended MPs, said, "Suspend us for a year, but discuss the Delhi riots and heal the wounds of people."
"What happened today is a tale of embarrassment in the history of Parliament," Chowdhury said.