Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan schools MPs, says 'even children behave much better than Indian parliamentarians'

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Tuesday within hours after it met as both the Opposition and Treasury benches created a ruckus over the Rafale deal prompting admonitions from the Speaker for being unruly and "worse than school kids". Following the first adjournment at noon, when the House reassembled, the scene in the lower House was no different than it was earlier in the day.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tried to transact the business for the day but was repeatedly interrupted by the sloganeering. "It is not sending a good message outside. I have heard from people abroad asking about the situation of proceedings in the Indian Parliament," she thundered.

File photo of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. PTI

File photo of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. PTI

She said she has received feedback that even school children behave much better than Indian Parliamentarians. But no amount of chiding helped as the Congress, AIADMK and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members trooped near the Speaker's podium and started sloganeering against the government.

The Congress demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 36 ready-to-fly Rafale fighter jets deal with France while accusing the government of lying before the Supreme Court on the matter.

The AIADMK members wanted Karnataka to take back its proposal to construct a dam across the Cauvery river at Mekadatu, while the TDP raised several issues related to their demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh.

Both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress members exchanged heated arguments with the Opposition seeking an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi while the other demanding the same from Congress President Rahul Gandhi for misleading the House and the nation on the defence deal.

Amid sloganeering, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs introduced the National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill 2018. As the din continued, Mahajan urged the members to go back to their seats and allow smooth functioning of the House.

"Parliament is for debate and discussion, but this is not the way. This session is very important and we all have to face elections next year. The government is ready for discussion. We have a responsibility. We have to maintain the standard of Parliament," she said.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the Opposition was ready for discussion and urged the government to accept a JPC probe into Rafale deal. "We respect democracy. But the prime minister is silent. We are demanding a JPC probe to look into the Rafale deal. The deal was discussed in length during the No-Confidence Motion. Accept the probe for smooth functioning of the House," Kharge said.

To this, Parliamentary Affairs minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government was ready for discussion on any issue but the JPC probe. "The need for JPC doesn't arise as the Supreme Court in its verdict has made it clear that a probe is not needed," he said. As the din continued, Mahajan adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier when the House had met, Congress members trooped to the Speaker's podium demanding a JPC probe into the Rafale aircraft deal, the AIADMK protested against the Mekadatu dam in Karnataka while the TDP sought special status for Andhra Pradesh. Amid the ruckus, Mahajan had to adjourn the House initially till noon.

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Updated Date: Dec 18, 2018 16:13 PM

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