Budget Session of Parliament updates: Opposition protests continued to disrupt Lok Sabha proceedings when it resumed session at 12 pm, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the proceedings for the day. AIADMK and TDP MPs stormed the Well while chanting slogans. The no-confidence motion notices couldn't be taken up as well as the House was not in order.
Just as the Rajya Sabha passed the amendments to the Gratuity Act, AIADMK and TDP MPs trooped into the Well holding placards and created a ruckus. Nearly 20 MPs stood in the Well surrounding Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, and chanting loud slogans, forcing him to adjourn House proceedings till Friday, 11 am.
Protests and sloganeering marked the day's proceedings in the Lok Sabha as it began on Thursday. Opposition MPs could be heard chanting "We want justice" in the background, even as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tried to conduct the day's business. As the protests grew louder, she said, "Nobody wants to listen, nobody wants to run the House." She then adjourned the Lok Sabha till 12 pm.
MPs from the Telugu Desam PArty (TDP) held protests inside the Parliament premises on Thursday demanding a special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
The proceedings in Parliament were washed out for the 13th consecutive day on Wednesday as members of some parties like the AIADMK and TRS continued with their noisy protests, with the Lok Sabha unable to take up the notices of no-confidence motion against the government for the fourth day.
While the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day without transacting any business barely four minutes after it assembled, the Lok Sabha was adjourned till noon and thereafter for the day due to the protests by parties from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the Rajya Sabha in four minutes after the start of proceedings as members of Andhra parties, including TDP, and KVP Ramachandra Rao of the Congress trooped into the Well raising slogans seeking a special status for the state.
No sooner were the listed papers laid on the table, the members of Tamil Nadu parties — DMK and AIADMK — too walked into the Well demanding immediate constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board for river water sharing between their state and Karnataka.
File image of Parliament. PTI
Congress members too joined them in the Well shouting slogans against the government.
Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad sought a discussion on the atrocities against the SCs and STs as well as on the statement of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the killing of 39 abducted Indians in Iraq.
He said the House should debate the statement Swaraj made last year and what she stated on Tuesday.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked him to give proper notice for the same and asked the members to allow the House to function. "What is happening? Are we so helpless?" he asked.
"Go back to your respective seats and raise issues," Naidu said, adding he was willing to allow members to raise issues from their seat and asked them not to shout slogans.
Asking if the MPs wanted images of disruption to be seen by the nation, he said "is this Parliament or something else? ... I am sorry this is not the way." Thereafter, he adjourned the proceedings for the day.
This is the third day that Naidu has adjourned the proceedings for the day right after the House assembled. On Tuesday, the Chairman had called it a day right after Swaraj had made a statement on the issue of abducted Indians in Iraq.
Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have not transacted any substantial business since the Budget session of Parliament resumed on 5 March, barring the passage of the Union Budget by the Lower House without any debate.
The Lok Sabha proceedings were first disrupted right after it had assembled with Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourning the proceedings for an hour due to protests by parties from Andhra within about four minutes.
At noon, members from the AIADMK, TDP and the TRS were again seen raising slogans and holding placards in the Well.
After the laying of papers by ministers, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar urged the members to return to their seats so that legislative business could be taken up.
He said the government is willing to discuss any issue, including the no-confidence motion. "We have the confidence of the House as well as of the entire country," he said.
When the Speaker took up the two notices of the trust vote given by the TDP and YSRC, the AIADMK members raised the pitch of their slogans. TRS members were also seen in the Well.
Mahajan said she cannot do a headcount of 50 members supporting the move, a pre-requisite for taking up the notices for the trust vote. Placards held by protesting MPs were apparently blocking her view, as she said as she can't see anything from the Chair.
Members of the Congress, TMC and the Left then raised their hands and stood at their seats to indicate to the Speaker that they were supporting the no-confidence motion.
But Mahajan said as the House is not in order, she cannot move ahead with the issue and adjourned the House for the day.
At least 50 members have to support the motion before it is moved, for which a headcount is needed to be carried out.
While the AIADMK has been seeking early establishment of the Cauvery river board to settle the water dispute with neighbouring states, the TRS is demanding hiked quota for jobs in Telangana and the TDP wants special status for Andhra Pradesh.
Expelled RJD member Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav was also seen holding a placard demanding special status for Bihar.
With inputs from PTI