Finally, the axe fell on the 11 tainted MPs of cash-for-query scam-fame. In an unprecedented historical move creating a parliamentary history, the Lok Sabha on Friday adopted the motion to this effect by a voice vote, following which 10 MPs were shown the door on charges of “unbecoming conduct” amid protests and walk-out by NDA members, barring JD(U).
The expelled Lok Sabha members of Parliament are: Annasaheb M K Patil, Y G Mahajan, Chandra Pratap Singh, Pradeep Gandhi and Suresh Chandel (all BJP), Rajaram Pal, Narendra Kumar Kushawaha and Lal Chandra Kol (all BSP), Ramsevak Singh (Cong) and Manoj Kumar (RJD). Earlier in the day, Chhatrapal Singh Lodha, the lone tainted BJP MP from Rajya Sabha, was removed by a motion adopted by the House on the recommendation of the Ethics Committee.
There is only one similar incident of 1951, when H G Mudgal was removed by the Provincial Parliament on charges of accepting money from Bombay Bullion traders for doing their work in Parliament. However, his resignation was not accepted.
These 11 MPs were caught on-camera accepting bribe for asking questions in Lok Sabha during a sting operation, code-named Operation Duryodhana. This operation was conducted jointly by Cobrapost.com and Aaj Tak news channel. Following the revelation, the Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had appointed an inquiry panel led by Congress leader Pawan Kumar Bansal that recommended axing of the members.
The action hardly comes as a surprise to me, especially so because as many as six out of 11 stinged MPs are from the BJP. So, it was only in the interests of the ruling UPA to get rid of these opposition members. Besides, the expulsions were also not going to affect the image of the Congress party, as it had just one MP to offer apologies for. It’s anybody’s guess as to for how many months this Bansal Committee would have sit on the report, if Congress were in BJP’s shoes.
I look upon the developments as just the start of a beginning. Many more political offspring of the event must be restlessly turning their heads in their respective wombs. However, it’s good that at least one inquiry was over and the recommendations acted upon. It’s been proved, for a change, that guilty can’t escape the fallout of their deeds.