by Piyasree Dasgupta Aug 14, 2013 15:30 IST
15: 00 pm: Parliament passes strong resolution against Pakistan over LoC firing
As expected Parliament has passed a very strongly worded resolution against Pakistan in reply to its resolution passed yesterday.
Reading the resolution to a packed House, Speaker Meira Kumar said that the Pakistan government was responsible for the killing of five Indian soldiers along the LoC.
The resolution also blamed Pakistan for allowing terror groups to use its soil for mounting attacks against India and urged them to take action against such groups.
"All of Jammu and Kashmir, including that forcibly and illegally occupied by Pakistan is an integral part of India and will always remain so," Kumar read out in Parliament to thumping of desks
The resolution also urged Pakistan not to take Indian armed forces lightly and condoled the death of the five soldiers recently killed along the LoC.
And with that Parliament was adjourned till Monday.
12:45 pm: Rajya Sabha debates inflation
In the Rajya Sabha, MPs are debating inflation with BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad pointing out that the price of onions, petrol and beer were the same.
Prasad's also talking about how they controlled inflation during the NDA tenure but said that the Prime Minister had failed to put pressure to ensure proper governance.
"The Prime Minister is in office but not in authority," he thundered characteristically.
12:35 pm: Food Bill unlikely to be tabled in Parliament
CNN-IBN is quoting sources as saying that the Food Bill is unlikely to be tabled in the Parliament today given its not functioning very smoothly today.
Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi was to speak on the bill and BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi was to oppose it. However, none of that may happen today.
Modi effect or the anti-Telangana effect?
12:30 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned, again
After seeming like it would be able to carry out proceedings, the Lok Sabha was finally adjourned amidst protests over the creation of Telangana till 2 pm.
12:15 pm: BJP demands statement on INS Sindhurakshak fire
INS Sindhurakshak also made an appearance in Parliament with an Opposition MP bringing up the matter and asking why no one from the government was making a statement on a matter that concerned national security.
But Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien wasn't going to let the proceedings be disrupted by a lone MP and said he would prefer to wait till Defence Minister AK Antony returned to the capital.
"Yes this is a very serious incident and the Defence Minister has gone to Mumbai. let him come back," Kurien told him.
But the Shiv Sena MP Bharat Raut refused to relent continuing the demand a statement on the matter.
"Let him come back and he will make a statement..Let him come back," Leader of the treasury benches Rajeev Shukla said.
He countered the continuing opposition from Raut and Chandan Mitra of the BJP telling them that they were both journalists and should respect the fact that they needed to have information before making a statement.
That silenced them, and proceedings continued.
12:00 pm: Parliament to strike back at Pakistan Parliament's resolution with one of its own
Whatever Pakistan can do, we can too. First came the strong words against Pakistan for its violation of peace along the Line of Control that left five soldiers dead.
But given Pakistan's Parliamentarians passed a resolution against India over violating peace along the LoC, the issue is to be taken up in India's Parliament as well.
"There is no partisanship in the Pakistan Assembly resolution. This has to be condemned. We have spoken to the Speaker. India is planning to counter Pakistan's resolution with a similar resolution," Kamal Nath, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, was quoted as saying in an NDTV report.
Even the Andhra Pradesh MPs who are seeking justice in the well of the house are likely to put aside their differences, albeit briefly, to allow the House to pass the resolution.
11:45 am: Ansari offers peace, says he would like to review practices and rules of House
After a long session of MPs cutting across party lines objecting to the hint that they are anarchists, Hamid Ansari stood up and in his calmest voice said that he would like to host a meeting of party leaders to review Rajya Sabha procedures.
"My personal view is that, I would like to make this admission to the house and particularly party leaders, it is time to review our practices and rules," Ansari told a calm Rajya Sabha.
"I would like to convene as early as possible a meeting of the leaders so we have a frank practical discussion about how the rules need to be amended if they need to be amended," he said.
As a peace offering Ansari also said that the he would ask the secretariat to review the record they have of his statement made yesterday.
"Can I now beg your indulgence to have the question hour?" Ansari asked and for 15 minutes, perhaps for the first time in months questions were placed and answered on the floor of the Rajya Sabha.
11.26 am: Lok Sabha agrees that the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue of AIIMS reservations should be challenged
The Lok Sabha is now up in arms against the Supreme Court and its decision to quash reservations in specialty and super specialty posts in medical institutes like the AIIMS. Questioning the logic behind backing completely merit-based recruitment in faculty positions in premier medical colleges, the House breaks out in loud protests.
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj said the Supreme Court went beyond their area of jurisdiction and ruled that no reservations should be made in super-specialty faculty positions. She added that in an all-party meet law minister Kapil Sibal promised to file a review petition asking the court to reconsider its decision. "He had assured if the Supreme Court refused to budge we would initiate a process of constitutional amendments," said Swaraj, asking Sibal to reiterate the same in the House.
Sibal on his part heartily supported and said he 'endorsed' the feelings of the House. "Reservation is a constitutional right. No one can snatch it from the citizens of India. We will file a review petition on Monday and if it doesn't work we will move an amendment bill," Sibal assured to come loud, incoherent screaming in the House. He went on to say that it is the Congress that has given people constitutional right and the party always has the best interests of the nation in sight.
11.03 am: BJP sticks to demands that Hamid Ansari retract statement
The Rajya Sabha opened today with the MPs still smarting from chairman Hamid Ansari's stinging allegation that they might want to be called a 'federation of anarchists'. Ansari, on his part, explained his stand and said that he posed a question to a chaotic house and didn't make a statement.
To which leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said that several state Assemblies have already declared the use of the word 'anarchy' unparliamentary and the Rajya Sabha should follow suit. "Anarchists imply disruptive, completely undisciplined people who don't want to do any work. In the past few days we have passed four to five legislation, discussed important issues. The way we expressed our opinions might have anguished you, but I would request you to please consider correcting the word when the record documents of the day's proceedings are made," said Jaitley, asserting that inclusion of the word in the records will show the House in very poor light in posterity.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha decided to introduce a resolution condemning Pakistan's resolution on India. "A resolution will be moved later in the day for you to endorse," said Kumar.
9.40 am: Sonia Gandhi to address Lok Sabha on food bill?
Congress chief and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi may speak on her pet welfare legislation, the Food Security Bill, when it comes up for discussion in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, party sources said.
The last time Gandhi spoke on a government bill was on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, on 18 August, 2005, parliament sources told IANS.
She also took part in a special discussion on 60 years of parliament 13 May, 2012.
Updates for 13 August end
2.55 pm: Sharad Yadav's turn as a voice of reason
The demand to let the Parliament function came from the unlikeliest of quarters. JD(U) MP Sharad Yadav, known for his unyielding parliamentary behaviour, stood up, visibly irritated with the Seemandhra MPs' incessant whining for 'justice'. He asked the speaker to warn the MPs.
"I had a discussion with Mr Chandrababu Naidu yesterday. The entire House wants to function except these handful of people. If the house is not working, neither Sushma ji nor the Congress is responsible, these people are not letting us function. Protest for 5-10 minutes and then let us debate the important food security bill at least. Will you halt the entire country for your issues?" he scolded the Seemandhra MPs, who quietened momentarily as they were probably not expecting the attack.
However, this bunch of people wouldn't be put down easily. The moment the house resumed functioning at 3 pm, they started shouting we want justice almost as a way of retaliation. The House was silent as the MPs started getting louder following which Meira Kumar adjourned proceedings again for an hour.
2.54 pm: Now fight breaks out over which party wants the Parliament to function more
After a series of frustrating sessions that mostly oscillated between chaos and adjournments that left both the ruling party and the Opposition unable to register their arguments and demands, the Congress and the BJP seemed keen on letting the Lok Sabha debate the Food Security Ordinance.
However, like is the ritual of every parliamentary discussion, it tried to take off with yet another skirmish leading the Lok Sabha adjourned for 20 more minutes. The issue this time was the tone in which Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath spoke to senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.
According to the opposition, Kamal Nath had resorted to rudely reminding Murli Manohar Joshi that the House belonged equally to the Congress and the BJP. Understandably thus, Joshi was offended and angrily said that he has not faced such behaviour in his 40-year-stint in Lok Sabha. Nath try to explain his stance, but refused to mellow his temper. "Don't tell me about behaviour," he hollered at BJP MP Gopinath Munde first. "I know how to behave with elders. I might have been angry when I told Mr Joshi that the House belongs to all parties and should be allowed to function, but it is wrong to imply I have used certain words that were abusive or insulting. I did nothing like that," he fumed.
Strangely, it was Sushma Swaraj who emerged as a voice reason in the House. She recounted the conversation that took place between Nath and herself during the break. "He requested me to let the Parliament function. I agree with him that the Food Security Bill is an important one and should be debated. I sent a note to my MPs saying that they should do nothing to prevent the debate. I asked the protesters to change their mode of protest and take it outside the House. But the minister has to understand that it is not important what he said, it is important how he said that. He has to mend his ways. The a lot of the Lok Sabha's troubles are rooted in the fact that Mr Kamal Nath himself doesn't know how to conduct himself appropriately in the House," she explained.
2.20 pm: After AK Antony, it is Vadra who has come in UPA Food Security Bill's way
The furor over Robert Vadra has conveniently thrown both the Houses of parliament off the tracks again. The Lok Sabha functioned just long enough to let Yashwant Sinha make a slanted reference to Robert Vadra - chaos took over soon after drowning both the Opposition's accusations and the UPA's defence.
In Rajya Sabha the very idea of discussing Vadra scuttled the day's proceedings with a furious Hamid Ansari asking the MPs if they want to be labelled a 'federation of anarchists'. The Opposition, much to the relief of the Congress, immediately forgot the issue at hand and instead decided to act on their hurt egos. While leader of the Opposition demanded Ansari withdraw the statement, Ravi Sankar Prasad demanded that the statement be withdrawn 'unconditionally'.
BJP's demands for a Supreme Court-monitored SIT probe therefore fizzled out much before it could gather steam and corner the government.
While the Congress might be worrying about the fate of the Food Security Bill, which has been tabled in the Lok Sabha but not debated yet, the party must be secretly thanking our parliamentarians' penchant for rowdiness for saving them from answering uncomfortable questions on the party chief's businesses.
11.48 pm: We are not anarchists, cry MPs
The Rajya Sabha MPs, evidently, take their right to shout seriously and associate immense pride with the same. So, when Hamid Ansari looked at the delirious, chaotic MPs and observed that it seems like the House wants to be renamed a 'federation of anarchists', the Opposition MPs took grave offence in it.
So, immediately after the House opened after adjournment, Arun jaitley stood up and demanded that Ansari withdraw his statement. When chairperson PJ Kurien defended Ansari and said that the latter had questioned the MPs if they want to be labelled anarchists for their behaviour, perennially-angry Ravi Sankar Prasad jumped in to say the comment should be 'unconditionally withdrawn'.
The House was immediately adjourned following a third wave of uproar, as was the Lok Sabha till 2 pm.
11.25 am: BJP attacks Robert Vadra
While the Congress had been dreading a backlash on the Robert Vadra land scam issue, it was Kishtwar which took the Lok Sabha by a storm again. With the Opposition accusing the Centre and the state government of inaction, some INC MPs flared up leading to loud altercation. Lal Singh Chaudhry, INC, MP accused the Opposition for colluding with trouble mongers and disturbing peace in Jammu and Kashmir. "I am from Jammu and Kashmir, I know the turth. There was peace in Jammu for so long. Now some miscreants have diisturbed communal harmony, the seuclarism in the state. They should be punished. The opposition people who are loudly protesting are the ones behind this conspiracy," he said.
Following which Yashwant Sinha went straight to the Opposition's day's agenda: nailing Robert Vadra for his involvement in dubious land scams.
Seething with sarcasm, Sinha started off referring to Vadra's business model. "There are so many business schools in India which have come up with various business models. However, there is one very well connected person who has not gone to any business school and has come up with a business model where crores shall be made without making any investment..." Sinha, understandably, is in no mood to spare Robert Vadra and the allegations of shady land deals he is facing, especially since it has the potential to upset whatever little poll promise the Congress has left. And what better way to demolish the Opposition that with a robust dose of irony? Yashwant Sinha is in his elements and Vadra might be just torn apart in the Lok Sabha today!
Immediately, the House broke out in deafening protests sounding a bit like a full cricket stadium.
Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House soon after, till 12 pm.
11.00 am: Rajya Sabha adjourned till noon as protesting MPs drive Ansari to lose his cool
Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till noon, but not before massive uproar and an angry outburst by beleagured Chairman, Vice President Hamid Ansari.
Today, the screaming and chanting was led by the BJP who had given notice for the suspension of question hour. Heaving a massive sigh, Ansari stood up in the midst of the uproar and said, "every single rule in the rule book, every single etiquette is being violated in this house. We are the legislators and we do not wave banners..."
As the uproar began again, the visibly agitated chairman shouted, "PLEASE DO NOT CONTRADICT ME. SIT DOWN!!!"
Although the house was shocked into silence for a few minutes, the uproar began again, leading Ansari to adjourn the house till noon, but not before he said, "If the hon members wish this house to become a confederation of anarchists, then its alright."
10.20 am: BJP calls for suspension of question hour
The BJP has given notice for the suspension of question hour in Parliament to discuss Robert Vadra's purported land deals.
The notice came soon after a BJP Parliamentary board meeting to discuss its strategy over the alleged scam.
10.00 am: BJP holds Parliamentary board meeting to discuss Vadra strategy
The BJP is currently holding a Parliamentary board meeting to discuss their strategy to target Congress President Sonia Gandhi in both Houses of Parliament over the alleged Robert Vadra land scam.
While Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj was supposed to bring up the issue on Monday itself, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath managed to defer the issue at a meeting of floor leaders called by Speaker Meira Kumar.
“Tomorrow we will raise the son-in-law scam. It is an issue of falsification, issue of wrong declaration in financial issues concerning banks,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.
If allowed permission by the Speaker, the Robert Vadra-DLF land deal issue is likely to further delay the UPA government’s ambitious Food Security Bill, which is already caught in a political tangle.
On Monday, BJP campaign committee chief and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking that a meeting of all Chief Ministers be held before passing the food bill, as the issue concerns both the Centre as well as state governments. (More on that here)
-- End of updates for 12 August--
2.35 pm: Chidambaram says there was nothing unusual about barring Arun Jaitley from Jammu and Kashmir
Not allowed to speak first, Chidambaram had to rework the statement he was supposed to present before the Rajya Sabha. He said, instead he will recount the facts about what happened in Kishtwar and answer the house' queries. Prior to answering the opposition's questions, however, he dismissed Jaitley's suggestions that external terror organisations or Pakistan has something to do with the Kishtwar violence. "I am aware of the challenges that Jammu and Kashmir faces. There the challenge of infiltration, the challenge of communal violence, the challenge of terrorism. But it is not right to link every incident to acts of external aggression," he clarified.
Following which he recounted what happened on the day the clashes broke out. He said that processions from three villages were proceeding towards a mosque in Kishtwar. "During such processions, some hot-headed people always make demands of 'azadi'. It happens virtually every Friday," he added. He emphasized that the people in the procession had an altercation with an individual and not a group. The scuffle then took on the proportions of a fight between two groups of people. "Since information moves very fast these days, tension spread to other parts of the town. It became difficult for the police to control it. Then, the Army was called. The Army conducted a flag march at 5.30 pm and imposed strict curfews thereby bringing the situation under control," he explained.
Addressing Jaitley, he added, "I would humbly like to point out here that states barring individuals during times of crisis is not unusual. The state government must have felt that at that point of time, it was not appropriate for the leader of the opposition to visit the state. Our job is to cooperate and support the state. That doesn't mean we support censorship and all political leaders will be allowed to visit Jammu in a few days and talk to civilians there. Right now, we all have to exercise restrain," said Jaitley.
Chidambaram also said that three 'Indians' lost their lives and he deeply regretted that.
An agitated Ravi Sankar Prasad got up, however, and hollered, "I just want to know whether the imposition of section 144 means a leader of Mr Jaitley's stature will not be allowed to travel to Jammu."
To which, Chidambaram calmly directed Prasad back to his own party for answer. "I believe the honourable leader of the opposition is a lawyer himself. He understands and can explain the implications of section 144," he answered dismissively and went on to assert that a 1990-like situation will not be repeated.
"No one will be forced out from their homes, no one will be made to resettle, no one should be forced to migrate," he said.
However, he did not forget to answer Jaitley's sarcasm with a bit of his own. "That doesn't mean one should interfere with the state government or the army. Or take advantage of the situation," he added.
2.11 pm: Like father, like son
With Farooq Abdullah offering a glimpse of his deep talent for observation in the House, son Omar Abdullah too jumps onto the 'hang Modi and escape the noose' bandwagon. While one would expect the heads of the state which is seized by such violence to clarify doubts and answer pertinent questions, Omar Abdullah points out that Modi, during the riots had barred the Army and not apologised. Here are a list of his tweets.
Oh that's right they can't because their star PM hopeful waited days to call out the army & has yet to apologise. Hypocrites.
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) August 12, 2013
3 unfortunate deaths - 1 Hindu, 2 Muslim & we've a judicial inquiry with my Minister resigning. Would the BJP care to recount 2002 response.
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) August 12, 2013
Would Jaitley be so kind as to inform Parliament whether the Gujarat Home Minister or MOS Home resigned or even offered to in 2002!
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) August 12, 2013
1.45 pm: Why is government sleeping? asks angry Mayawati
Next up to the debating table was an angry Mayawati who was determined to say her piece despite the constantly ringing bell to tell her that her time was up, punctuated by pleas of "No please, sit down" by deputy Chairman PJ Kurien.
Mayawati's BSP has personal stake in the Kishtwar debate because the son of one of their district chiefs had been killed in the violence. "The situation is bad and the state government has been sleeping. The state's home minister should have ensured law and order in Kishtwar. If order can't be restored then the state government of J&K should be dismissed.", she thundered.
The problem of law and order is a pet grievance of the former BSP Minister who constantly rues the lack of it in her own home state ever since the Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party came to power. However in this case, it is also a matter of national pride.
"We thought what was happening from across border situation will be handled by the state govt and centre. But this has not been the case", she said.
CPI leader D Raja backs Mayawati's demand and says a serious probe must be ordered into the incident.
1.21 pm: Farooq Abdullah lashes out at opposition, takes a dig at Modi
With his son Omar facing the heat, Farooq Abdullah jumps to his rescue. With Jaitley bringing up the issue, he angrily refers to the 2002 riots in Gujarat. "When the riots occurred in Gujarat in 2002, the Army was not allowed inside. No one from outside was allowed to enter Ahmedabad. And Gujarat is not a property of Modi," he hollered back, angrily as the house broke out in protest and he had to be calmed down.
Who said trolls live only on Twitter? Here's one right inside the Rajya Sabha shouting 'we hate you too' like those great Twitter warriors!
Jaitley had previously warned the government against such measures and said that its tactics reminded them of the 1990s when the Kashmiri Pandits were chased out.
1.10 pm: Arun Jaitley speaks, slams the government and the media
This was exactly what the Congress must have been dreading and hence had been insisting that they be allowed to make a statement first. Jaitley, unlike his Lok Sabha counterpart Sushma Swaraj, has a way of hitting the nail on its head sans distracting political metaphors.
He points out that Kishtwar doesn't have a disturbing history of violence and Hindus and Muslims have mostly lived in peace for most times. He questioned why such an incident broke out on the eve of the Eid prayers, just a few days after five Indian soldiers were killed in the LoC by the Pakistan troops. "This is not a issue of communal disharmony," he points out. "Flags of the neighbouring nation are not displayed during a communal clash in India, posters of death row terrorists are not displayed during a skirmish between two religious communities in India. This is an issue of the country's sovereignty," says Jaitley.
He alleged that the police had been a mute spectator when the clashes broke out and the district administration was crippled by the ferocity of it. "Though were were assured by the government that the Army is being moved, the Army moved in only late in the evening. By then, there was mayhem in the town of Kishtwar," he added.
He then questioned the government's move to bar the media and other leaders from entering Jammu and Kashmir. "What does one do in a situation like this? Impose censorship? Take an ostrich like approach and ban the media so that no one comes to know what is going on? Will the media be quiet about this and not go overboard critising the issue?" he asked.
"Jammu and Kashmir is not the personal property of one family. They don't have the right to bar anyone from the state and indefinitely at that. What if the BJP-led states imposed a section 144 and stopped all AICC members from entering them? What is this, a banana republic?"
Well Jaitley evidently doesn't pay much attention to Rahul Gandhi. Else he would have already known the answer to his question and how in junior Gandhi's superior rhetoric, it is a beehive!
12.46 pm: Hierarchy, not discussion, the House's priority
The fight continues even after the Rajya Sabha resumes. PJ Kurien tries in vain to bring order to the House. Add to that one evidently very focussed MP who goes on yelling 'save Andhra Pradesh' as if there's nothing more important in this world.
At one point, he wails, "Save Andhra Pradesh sir." So what Pakistan intends to trample the LoC, so what people kill each other in Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh must be saved from its imaginary enemies before that.
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, obviously feeling left out, jumps in this time demanding even they be allowed to speak about Oommen Chandy and the Kerala issue. Kurien, who by now, seems to have pacified Chidambaram who doesn't protest when told that he'll be allowed to present his statement after Arun Jaitley.
However, as the House turns into a neighbourhood cricket ground with high school boys accusing each other of cheating over the toss - only these boys have less hair, more girth and 40 more years of life lived - the House is adjourned temporarily again.
12.06 pm: Who gets to make a 'statement' first? Let's fight and decide
Because that is the mature thing to do, right? It won't be too out of line if you suggest a coin toss to our ministers and political leaders - even that makes a fair amount of sense than a pointless debate on who gets to speak first. Shockingly enough, the Congress, which has been batting for the right to speak and need to let the parliament function without glitches joins the deafening chorus with P Chidambaram leading the government brigade, no less. Cornered over the Kishtwar violence and the government's move to cut off the town from the rest of the country citing security reasons, Chidambaram stands up in the Rajya Sabha and says that the government has the right to make a statement on the issue before anyone else.
"With due respect to the honourable members, I would like to point out that the government is ready with a statement on the Kishtwar issue and would like to submit it to the House. You want a statement, we are ready with one. We are not fighting shy off a statement, let us speak first," he says.
BJP, quite uncharacteristically, keeps quiet as the house breaks out in protests with Arun Jaitley standing expectantly. There's another party demanding even they be allowed to speak.
Chidambaram in the middle of the din stars reading out his statement defiantly and it takes PJ Kurien to point out that Jaitley is the one who is logically allowed to speak now. "Don't intimidate me Mr Chidambaram," said an angry Kurien resolute on letting Jaitley speak.
However, his bravery doesn't hold before the time tested chaos in the house which has to be adjourned immediately.
11.36 am: Now protests outside the Parliament too
Left MPs have taken their protest outside the Rajya Sabha. Outnumbered both in terms of pet issue and people, the Left stepped out of the parliament to stir agaisnt Kerala CM Oommen Chandy demanding he resigns because of his involvement in the solar scam.
11.23: Rajya Sabha tries functioning, is adjourned again
The Congress adopts the Opposition's trick and one agitated MP puts the house off tracks. While Arun Jaitley stands up to make a statement on the Kishtwar issue, he is prevented by an MP howling unabashedly despite several warnings from Hamid Ansari. Ansari on his part, tries to pull a Meira Kumar on the house by saying 'baith jaiye' multiple times. But given his 'baith jaiye' rings as authentic and flattering as Bappi Lahiri's rock and roll, the chaos in Rajya Sabha remains unaffected. Ansari adjourns the house as a result.
TV channel Times Now reported that minister of state, home affairs, RPN Singh is supposed to make a statement about the Kishtwar situation.
11.00 am: Both houses of Parliament adjourned
Leader of the opposition Arun Jaitley was set to make a statement but was stoped by loud, angry sounding protests in the house as Congress Minister Jairam Ramesh watched it all lazily with his hands behind his head.
"This is outrageous!" said Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari before finally adjourning the house for 15 minutes, as banner waving MPs charged into the well of the house.
Similar protests in the Lok Sabha led to an adjournment by Meira Kumar, who also registered the fact that the protests were 'unacceptable'.
We still don't know who is responsible for the protests in the house, but it did not seem to be the BJP. Most likely it is the Seemandhra MPs who are back in full form.
9.30 am: Food Security Bill, RTI Amendment Bill to be tabled but will fuming BJP let the house run?
Parliament is reconvening after three days, which means our MPs have had ample time to rest their vocal chords for a new session of chanting.
Of course in the event that all differences are resolved and everyone allows the house to run, we are in for an interesting day.
The UPA'S pet Food Security Bill is likely to be taken up for debate in the Lok Sabha, with the opposition expected to vote for it. Still no word on what a sulking Samajwadi Party may do, and whether they have forgiven and indeed forgotten, suspended IAS officer, Durga Shakti Nagpal. If the BJP does end up supporting the bill however, the mood of the SP will not matter very much.
The RTI amendment bill is also likely to be tabled during today's session. All political parties have joined hands to oppose a Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) order which said that the six major parties - Congress, BJP, NCP, CPM, CPI and BSP - are public authorities and come under the ambit of RTI.
Previously, cabinet had approved an amendment to RTI Act saying political parties were associations of individuals, and therefore not public authorities. Since the CIC order is still operational, the government is keen to pass the bill soon.
Of course with fresh tension in Kishtwar, and the BJP fuming over the fact that leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley was detained at the Jammu airport and not allowed to visit the region, there is every chance that the main opposition party will not allow the house to run.
“I don’t know under which law they (Jammu and Kashmir government) have the right not to allow someone to visit the state. This is totally undemocratic and unconstitutional. They want to keep the truth hidden,” Jaitley told reporters soon after landing at Delhi airport. (Read more)
And that is not the end of the problems facing the house.
There was also fresh violence along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, with Pakistani troops violating the ceasefire in 13 incidents. The violence has left a BSF jawan critically injured.
On Sunday, the ceasefire was violated by Pakistani forces in Mendhar area of Poonch. Ten Indian Army posts, including the ones in Langot, Forward Balakot and Dera Basi, came under fire at around 11.30 am.
This is likely to cause even more tension in the house, as the incidents come almost immediately after a tough, (albeit revised) statement from Defence Minister AK Antony, where he held Pakistan responsible for the death of five jawans who were killed in firing in Poonch.
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