Parliament's Winter Session: RS adjourns as Oppn continues to protest suspension of MPs

When the Upper House assembled at 3 pm following an adjournment post-lunch, the Opposition members again started their protest inside the Well and continued their sloganeering

FP Staff December 01, 2021 18:29:29 IST
Parliament's Winter Session: RS adjourns as Oppn continues to protest suspension of MPs

Leaders of the Opposition protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament premises. ANI

The proceedings of the Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day on Wednesday amid unrelenting protests by Opposition parties over the issue of suspension of 12 MPs.

When the Upper House assembled at 3 pm following an adjournment post-lunch, the Opposition members again started their protest inside the Well and continued their sloganeering.

The members did not allow Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who was moving The Dam Safety Bill, 2019 for consideration in the House, to complete his speech.

Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was presiding the proceedings of the Upper House, persuaded the Opposition members to return to their seats and allow the minister to complete his speech.

As soon as the House resumed in the afternoon, Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was in the chair, asked Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to move the bill.

He also assured the agitating members that Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge would be allowed to speak on the suspension of 12 members of the House, once they return to their seats.

"Whatever is happening is not good. You have to maintain decorum," said Kalita, adding "It is not sending good signals to the public. You are not allowing him, the minister is in the middle of his speech."

Earlier, when the house met at 2 pm, Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was in the chair, asked Shekhawat to move The Dam Safety Bill for consideration in the House.

The minister moved the motion for consideration of the bill by the House and thereafter, the deputy chairman asked him to speak on the bill.

In the meantime, Kharge asked the deputy chairman to allow him to speak on the suspension of members of the House. However, Harivansh did not allow him to raise the matter, and said he can speak on the bill.

As the minster started his speech on the bill, Opposition members started raising slogans and demanded that Kharge be allowed to speak on the issue of suspension of members.

Harivansh requested the Opposition members not to come into the Well and to go back to their seats.

On Wednesday, the suspended MPs sat near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament to register their protest.

Earlier, on Tuesday too, the members of the Opposition had sat on dharna to protest the suspension of the 12 Rajya Sabha members after M Venkaiah Naidu had refused to revoke their suspension.

Leader of Opposition Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge speaking to news agency ANI, had said, "We are demanding the revocation of suspension of 12 Opposition members of the Rajya Sabha. We will hold a meeting and decide the future course of action."

Expressing solidarity with the protesting members, Congress' Shashi Tharoor also said, "Centre has to realise that in this country other voices deserve to be heard. Parliament is for debate and discussion, you've to allow people to express their views, only then can you truly run a democratic Parliament."

Earlier in the day, Union minister Pralhad Joshi, it was reported, had invited Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for debate over bills tabled in Parliament. He said that discussion should be held in Parliament. He said if suspended Rajya Sabha MPs want to participate, they should apologise. "I urge them to express remorse... We also want a debate," he said.

Meanwhile, inside the Parliament, scenes of ruckus and chaos ensued, forcing Rajya Sabha to be adjourned till afternoon.

Lok Sabha was no better, where Opposition MPs raised slogans of 'We want justice' during the Question Hour in the House. Later, Congress and DMK MPs stormed out of the Lower House, forcing an adjournment till 12 pm.

The Opposition has also been taking on the Centre over the issues of farmers’ welfare and compensation in the lower house.

On Tuesday, the Centre said that it had no data pertaining to either cases against or the number of farmers who died during the year-long agitation demanding repeal of the three contentious farm laws and hence there was no question of providing financial assistance to anyone.

This came as Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar was asked about 'Agitation of Farm Laws' raised by a bunch of MPs in the Lok Sabha.

For those wondering what's all the hullabaloo all about, 12 Opposition MPs of the Rajya Sabha, including Congress MP Chhaya Verma, Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi and TMC's Dola Sen, were suspended on Monday for the remaining part of the winter session for their misconduct and unruly behaviour during the last session.

Among the suspended members, six are from the Congress, two each from the TMC and Shiv Sena and one each from the CPM and the CPI.

The Upper House had witnessed ugly scenes when the opposition members were protesting against the three farm bills during the Monsoon session.

With inputs from agencies

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