ANI Photo | Parliament security breach: Opposition demands Home Minister’s statement; Govt says “Speaker is custodian of House”

Amidst uproar in Parliament on Thursday over the suspension of 13 MPs in the wake of the security breach in the Lower House, the Opposition has demanded a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah whereas Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the Speaker is the custodian of the House and the government is merely complying with the orders of the Speaker.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also asserted that as custodian of the Parliament complex, it was his responsibility to ensure security.
“The entire Parliament Secretariat comes under the jurisdiction of Parliament, particularly the Lok Sabha… This is our jurisdiction. As Lok Sabha Speaker, it is my responsibility to ensure everybody’s security,” the speaker said as members raised slogans against the government.
Speaking to reporters, Joshi said, “The Speaker is the guardian or custodian of the House. It is not in our powers or functional jurisdiction to make a statement on his decisions. The government is merely complying with the orders of the Speaker. I would request the members of the Opposition not to do politics over this issue. This is a sensitive matter and I would request them to cooperate with the government (in the ongoing probe into the security breach) and allow constructive debates and discussions in Parliament.”
Meanwhile, the Opposition called the suspension of opposition MPs “a horrible, undemocratic move” which is a “murder of democracy.”
“A horrible, undemocratic move to suspend opposition MPs for demanding an answer from the Government on the shocking security breach in Parliament yesterday. On the one hand, 5 MPs are suspended for demanding accountability, while on the other hand, there is no action against the BJP MP who facilitated the entry of the miscreants. This is a murder of democracy. The BJP government has reduced Parliament to a rubber stamp. Not even the pretence of a democratic process is left,” Congress leader KC Venugopal posted on X.
The opposition has been up in arms over the security breach that took place in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, the day India marked 22 years since the day when Parliament was attacked in 2001.
They also demanded a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday’s security breach.
Hitting out the BJP government at the Centre for suspending 13 opposition MPs, RJD MP Manoj Jha said that a government that cannot keep its Parliament secure, cannot keep the country safe.
“When such an act takes place in the House, it is not just a Parliamentary matter – it is related to security. A government that can’t keep its Parliament secure, can’t keep the country safe. Mark my words…We would tell you – the country is not safe in your hands. You are not coming before us even after 24 hours…We will continue to raise this issue in the House and force the Home Minister to come,” the RJD MP said.
West Bengal Minister and TMC leader Shashi Panja raised questions on the actions taken against BJP MP Pratap Simha who allegedly provided Parliament passes to individuals responsible for triggering panic in the Lok Sabha with smoke canisters.
“If you raise questions in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, you won’t get answers. Instead, you’ll be suspended just like Mahua Moitra and Derek O’Brien. Trinamool Congress will not back off, we’re fighting for our country… Have any steps been taken against BJP MP Pratap Simha for providing passes to these accused? Why isn’t he being suspended and questioned?… If someone has done a recce of the new Parliament premises and tried to pull off a stunt like this in the name of a prank, it should not be taken lightly,” Panja said.
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh reiterated the demand for a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah in the House on the issue of a security breach in which two men jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the visitor’s gallery.
“We had just one demand that the Home Minister come to the House and give a statement (over Lok Sabha security breach). This dictatorial government does not find it acceptable…This is a very serious matter…We wanted a statement from the Home Minister. Unless he comes to the House and does that, there are very slim chances for the House to function,” he said.
“We do want discussions but the biggest issue is – how and why did this happen…PM and HM are silent. They should come to both Houses and give statements. After that, the House will function,” the Congress leader added.
Revolutionary Socialist Party MP NK Premachandran called the suspension of MPs “unfortunate”.
“It is quite unfortunate on the part of the government moving a motion to suspend the Members…They are not taking any action against the member belonging to the BJP who gave the pass to these two culprits to enter the Parliament and do all this nuisance,” he said.
“MPs who are seeking action or a statement from the Home Minister are being suspended from the House, it is very unfortunate and never before heard of in the history of our Parliament. Our suggestion is that on Monday as well as tomorrow, the entire Opposition members will do the same thing. Let them suspend all the members,” Premachandran added.
DMK MP TR Baalu also reacted to the suspension of 13 MPs from the Parliament and called it ‘wrong’.
“They have not done anything wrong. They behaved within the rules and regulations of Parliament. They have not used any unparliamentary words. Their (suspension) is totally wrong,” he said.
Meanwhile, a total of 13 MPs were suspended from the Parliament on Thursday “for creating a ruckus” in the House over their demand for a statement on the breach.
Earlier, 14 MPs were suspended, but later Pralhad Joshi clarified that one member was mistakenly included in the list of MPs suspended.
Following his clarification, a formal request was made to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to exclude one member, who wasn’t present at the Well of the Lower House during the disruption, from the list of suspended MPs.
The number of suspended lawmakers was, thus, revised to 13 from 14 as was erroneously mentioned earlier.
Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament after both Houses were adjourned till 11 am on Friday, the Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister said, “A total of 13 MPs were suspended from the Lok Sabha. One member, who was not present in the Well of the House during the commotion, was suspended erroneously. We requested the Lok Sabha Speaker to drop that name and he obliged.”
“We condemned the security breach in Parliament and took immediate action. We even called a meeting of the floor leaders. The Speaker has ordered the Home Secretary to ensure immediate action in the matter,” Joshi added.
The motion for suspension of nine opposition MPs — Benny Behanan, VK Sreekandan, Mohammad Jawed, PR Natarajan, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, K Subrahmanyam, SR Parthiban, S Venkatesan and Manickam Tagore — was moved by Joshi.
The MPs were suspended soon after the House met at 3 pm following its adjournment earlier. The House was later adjourned for the day.
Earlier, after tabling a motion for the suspension of five Congress members from the Lok Sabha for ‘unruly behaviour’, Joshi apprised the House of the steps taken in the wake of Wednesday’s security breach in which two men jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the visitor’s gallery and set off smoke cans.
Meanwhile, the Patiala House Court granted 7-day custody to four accused persons arrested in connection with the security breach in Parliament to Delhi Police’s Special Cell.
A case has been registered against the accused under multiple relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the Parliament Security breach incident, police said on Thursday

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