Hurt Kurien threatens to suspend protesting TDP members

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien Friday expressed deep pain over the unruly conduct of two TDP members protesting against the division of Andhra Pradesh and threatened to suspend them for holding the house to ransom.

Wearing white shirts with 'Save Andhra Pradesh' printed at the back, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members C.M. Ramesh and Y.S. Chaudhary, shouting slogans and holding placards, came towards the speaker's podium, as Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal began to speak on the missing coal files.

Kurien repeatedly requested the members to go back to their seats and let the house discuss the missing coal files issues.

As TDP members continued raising slogans of "Save Andhra Pradesh" and "We need justice", Kurien threatened to take action under Rule 255.

According to Rajya Sabha, under Rule 255 "the Chairman may direct any member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the Council and any member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall absent himself during the remainder of the day's meeting".

Kurien sought the support of the house to take action against the two under Rule 255 but AIADMK member V. Maitreyan and Trinamool Congress member Derek O'Brien objected.

The house was adjourned for half an hour.

As the house resumed, TDP members with folded hands appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was present in the house, to listen to their demands.

Kurien then intervened and said: "I am deeply pained and hurt ... As deputy chairman, I genuinely and sincerely want to run the house."

"Prime minister had engagements with international dignitaries... on the demand of the house he is here. Only two honourable members are obstructing (the proceedings) and holding the house to ransom," he said.

Kurien said those who wanted the prime minister to speak on the missing files in the coal block allocation controversy were "not supporting me in taking action".

"That is my agony... If majority agree to take action, I can... Otherwise I will have to adjourn the house."

Kurien then adjourned the house for the day.

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