National

Congress leader raises MPs’ suspension, but pick-pocket analogy leaves many squirming

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 06, 2020 Published on March 06, 2020

The Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, on Friday said the suspension of seven party MPs from the House for disrupting proceedings was like sending a pickpocket to the gallows, only to be panned by Union minister Pralhad Joshi who termed the analogy strange and unfortunate.

Chowdhury’s pickpocket remark, meant to criticise the government’s move to suspend the Congress members, left many party MPs visibly embarrassed and others in splits.

Arguing against the suspension of the seven Congress members for the remainder of the Budget Session, Chowdhury said: “Jeb-katua ko phansi ke takhte pe nahi chadaya ja sakta hai (a pickpocket cannot be sent to the gallows),” and demanded that the suspension be revoked. He said the punishment was “disproportionate” and should be reversed.

He said the party members regard the Chair as “the Pope of the Vatican” and had never dishonoured it.

Latching on to Chowdhury’s remarks, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Joshi said, “It is strange to compare the suspended MPs with pickpockets. It is most unfortunate...”

‘Ruckus unprecedented’

Justifying the action against Congress MPs, Joshi said snatching papers from the Speaker’s table had never happened in the House in its history of more than 70 years.

Referring to incidents when the BJP was in the Opposition, Joshi said former Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha LK Advani would stop MPs from doing anything that did not suit the dignity of the House.

The House has witnessed uproarious scenes since the Budget Session reconvened on March 2 with the Opposition demanding a discussion on the Delhi violence that claimed at least 53 lives.

During a discussion on the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, an RLP member made some controversial remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her family members, triggering a strong reaction from Congress members.

While protesting the remarks, Congress member Gaurav Gogoi pulled papers from the Speaker’s table and flung them in the air. Gogoi and six other MPs were suspended from the House for the remainder of the Session.

Published on March 06, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.