The Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments till the evening on Tuesday and got adjourned for the day at 4 pm over the Pegasus spyware issue.
The Centre’s attempts to get the two Appropriation Bills and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Bill amid the ruckus did not succeed as the Opposition demanded that the Bill to privatise the General Insurance Company must be sent to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.
As the disruptions continued, Deputy Chairman Harivansh invited the floor leaders of various parties for a discussion so that the Bills listed for the day could be taken up amid the din.
“We got support of even YSRCP for our demand to send the GIBN Bill to Select Committee,” an Opposition member told BusinessLine after the meeting. As Opposition remained adamant, the House was adjourned for the day at 4 pm. There are indications that the Centre will push the Bills again on Wednesday.
The Opposition members argued in the meeting that the Bill will have deep impact on the insurance sector in the country and the workers engaged with the General Insurance Company. They said the Bill demands serious scrutiny of Parliament and it should be sent to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.
Calling attention motion
Earlier, Opposition members protested against Chairman Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to convert a calling attention motion on the farmers protests and the three farm laws into a short-duration discussion on the problems in the agriculture sector.
Citing earlier Rulings given by Chairpersons of the House, senior Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said the ruling of the Chair on December 3, 2015 makes it clear that a calling attention motion can be converted into a short-duration discussion only after taking a complete sense of the House.
“No sense of the House was taken. This is unilateral and not acceptable,” he said and added that the notice was to discuss the repealing of the three farm laws.
“On July 23, I had given the notice for calling attention motion on the three black farm laws and the ongoing farmers’ agitation for the last 9-10 months. Today, I find my name shown against the short-duration discussion. My calling attention motion has been converted into a short-duration discussion on general topic agriculture problem and situation,” he said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said sense of the House can be taken before the discussion and requested Vice-Chairman Bhuvaneshwar Kalita to allow the debate on the issues in agriculture. “This is the decision of the Chairman, so I cannot go back and we are taking up the discussion,” Kalita said. The Opposition members, however, continued raising slogans and some of the members stormed into the Well of the House.