2.04pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day
The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day, making it the twelfth day of no work in either house of Parliament. The SC/ST Promotions bill is clearly not going to see the light of day this session. Will it suffer the same fate as the Lokpal?
12.05pm: Lok Sabha adjourned for the day.
The Lok Sabha has been adjourned for the day, amidst a particularly belligerent protest by opposition MPs. The Rajya Sabha will meet at 2pm, but given the fate of the last two sessions, the SC/ST Promotions quota bill is not going to be passed anytime this session.
12.02pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2pm.
Two minutes seems to be the average length of a session in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha is functioning, but the opposition chants are continuing unabated.
12.00pm: Opposition ruckus continues
The next session of Parliament has begun, and clearly the opposition- government meeting has yielded no results. Chanting continues in the well of both houses.
11.42am: Home Minister meets Sushma Swaraj
With yet another session of Parliament lost due to opposition ruckus, Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde spoke to opposition leader Sushma Swaraj, in an effort to break the deadlock. The government is still hoping to pass the SC/ST Promotions quota bill in Parliament today.
11.03am: Both houses adjourned till noon
Both houses of Parliament were adjourned a mere three minutes after the Parliamentary session began, with the Opposition not letting up in its campaign to disrupt the functioning of the monsoon session. Parliamentarians paid tribute to the victims of the Sivakasi fireworks factory fire by observing two minutes of silence, but immediately began shouting and sloganeering as soon as the speaker tried to begin the business of the house.
Parliament will resume at noon.
10.30am: Get ready for an eleventh day of disruption
The SC/ST Promotions quota bill has been tabled in the Rajya Sabha, but despite BSP leader Mayawati‘s appeal and the BJP’s cautious support of the bill, it is unlikely that either house of Parliament will function today.
There was some speculation that the BJP would agree to cease their agitation in the Rajya Sabha to debate the quota bill, but that was not to be. Speaking soon after the upper house was adjourned (but not before we saw fisticuffs between the SP and BSP over the quota bill), BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad said that they would not allow the government to ‘sidetrack’ the issue of the coal allocation scam by introducing the promotions quota bill.
“We support social empowerment as long as it is valid under the constitution. We however first want the cancellation of coal blocks and a probe”, he said.
The BJP are still reiterating their demands that the Prime Minister resign, that allocations of coal blocks be cancelled and an impartial probe be ordered into the CAG report on coal block allocations.
The Congress led government is unfazed and is sticking to their position that the ongoing CBI probe is sufficient and that there is no question of either canceling the allocations or the Prime Minister resigning.
Analysts say that the government is still hoping to see the reservations for promotions bill passed in the Rajya Sabha before the monsoon session ends tomorrow. But if Wednesday was any indication, this could prove to be an uphill task.