Pell-mell in both Houses as Opposition seeks adjournments

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 02, 2020

Opposition members protest in the well of the Rajya Sabha during the Budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Monday   -  PTI

The second leg of the Budget session of Parliament began on a chaotic note on Monday. Proceedings were disrupted with chairpersons of both the Houses disallowing adjournment motions moved by Opposition parties to discuss the situation in Delhi. The Centre also favoured a debate on the Delhi riots at a different time after ensuring peace. But the Opposition insisted that the matter should be taken up immediately as the ‘situation is grave’.

In the Lok Sabha, the BJP and Congress members were involved in pushing and shoving each other while in Rajya Sabha, the Opposition members stormed to the well of the House demanding the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Congress Lok Sabha member Ramya Haridas has written to Speaker Om Birla that she was assaulted by a BJP woman MP during the ruckus. “On March 2, at 3 pm, inside Lok Sabha, I was physically assaulted by MP Jaskaur Meena (BJP parliamentarian from Rajasthan),” Haridas said in her complaint and asked whether such assaults are taking place on her just because she is a Dalit woman.

The Lower House was adjourned thrice till 4.30 pm as the ruckus continued. Birla expressed pain at what happened within the House on Monday. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi urged Birla to continue with the proceedings.

Earlier, Congress MPs, including Gaurav Gogoi, Hybi Eaden and Ravneet Singh Bittu, held up a banner and moved towards BJP members while ruling party MP Sanjay Jaiswal was speaking on the Vivaad Se Vishwas Bill. BJP members stopped them from moving over to their side. Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Smriti Irani tried to pacify the members. However, the commotion continued and the House was adjourned till 3 pm.

Birla asked the members to not to crowd the well. “This is the temple of democracy. There are certain rules and tradition. You should not come to the Well,” he said. “I am personally pained at the developments in the House. You are not pained. I do not want to run proceedings under such circumstances.... Everybody should deliberate to ensure that the dignity of the House is maintained,” he added.

Elders rush to the well

In the Rajya Sabha, members of almost all Opposition parties, including AAP, stormed to the well and raised slogans such as Tadipar par Halla Bol, goli maarna bandh karo. In the morning, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the matter raised in the adjournment motions is definitely important and deserves to be discussed. “Our priority should be restoring normalcy. We should see that normalcy is restored and then we can discuss ways and means of preventing it. Let peace be restored,” he said.

Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Centre remained a mute spectator and allowed the riot to happen consecutively for three days. The Leader of the House and Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot countered it and said the statement of Azad was baseless.

When the House met at 2 pm, Deputy Chairman Harivansh allowed Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ to introduce and speak on the Central Sanskrit Universities Bill. The pandemonium continued for about half an hour and the Deputy Chairman adjourned the House for the day at around 2.30 pm.

Published on March 02, 2020

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