From DMK's Kanimozhi to Congress MP Jothimani: Who are the 15 suspended MPs and why they were shown the door?

A day after Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament, witnessed a security breach where two protesters entered the floor and disrupted the events by opening canisters that emitted yellow smoke, 15 MPs have been suspended from the Parliament on Thursday - December 14 for the rest of the Winter Session. It has become a mass suspension of MPs in recent years, though such events aren't new in the Narendra Modi regime. 

The 15 suspended MPs belong to key opposition parties and they are known for their scathing attacks against the BJP government in both the chambers of the Parliament. On Thursday, these MPs were shown the door for disrupting House proceedings and for their unruly behaviour. Of these 15 MPs, 14 were Lok Sabha MPs and the rest one was a member of Rajya Sabha. 

In the tally of 14 MPs suspended from the Lok Sabha, nine belong to the Congress, two each from the Marxist Communist Party and DMK, and one from the Indian Communist Party. Of these 15 suspended MPs, seven were from Tamil Nadu. The Lok Sabha MPs who got suspended are - S Jothimani (Congress, Tamil Nadu), TN Prathapan (Congress, Kerala), Hibi Eden (Congress, Kerala), Ramya Haridas (Congress, Kerala), Dean Kuriakose (Congress, Kerala), VK Sreekandan (Congress, Kerala), Benny Behanan (Congress, Kerala), Mohammed Jawed (Congress, Bihar), and Manickam Tagore (Congress, Tamil Nadu). 

The other Lok Sabha MPs who got suspended are PR Natarajan (Marxist Communist Party, Tamil Nadu), Subbarayan (Indian Communist Party, Tamil Nadu), SR Parthiban (DMK, Tamil Nadu), and S Venkatesan (Marxist Communist Party, Tamil Nadu). Notably, senior DMK leader and party's MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi has also got suspended for the rest of the Winter Session. 

The one Rajya Sabha member who got suspended is Trinamool Congress leader Derek O Brien, who is elected from West Bengal. While Union Parliamentary Minister Pralhad Joshi moved the resolution to suspend the MPs in the Lok Sabha, another Union Minister Piyush Goyal moved the resolution to suspend Derek O Brien from the Rajya Sabha for disrupting the proceedings of the House. 

Following their suspensions, the MPs staged protests while their colleagues from the oppositions came to show support and solidarity. A slew of opposition MPs slammed the BJP regime for its crackdown on the members of the key opposition parties. Condemning the suspension, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president MK Stalin called the act as undemocratic and said that it undermines the spirit of Parliamentary Democracy. 

Taking to social media, MK Stalin wrote, "Suspension of 15 Opposition MPs, including DMK MP Kanimozhi is undemocratic and undermines the spirit of Parliamentary democracy. The intolerant attitude of the BJP-led Union Govt is condemnable. Is crushing MPs' freedom of expression the new norm in our Parliament? Why are people's representatives punished for seeking answers on a major security breach in our temple of democracy ? We demand the immediate revocation of the 15 MPs' suspension. Parliament must be a forum for debate and definitely not for silencing opposition."