Rajya Sabha proceedings adjourned thrice amid Opposition protests over suspension of MPs
The proceedings of the Rajya Sabha were adjourned thrice during the day on Wednesday as Opposition members continued their protests over the suspension of 12 MPs.
The Upper House was first adjourned soon after it met for the day and then again at noon till 2 PM, after Opposition members created uproar seeking revocation of the suspension of the MPs.
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 Dam Safety Bill, 2019 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, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge asked the Deputy Chairman to allow him to speak on the issue of suspension of 12 members of the House.
However, Harivansh did not allow him to raise the matter, and said he can speak on the bill.
As the minister 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.
He also told some members that photography in the House is not allowed when they tried to click pictures with their phones.
But when Opposition members refused to relent, the Deputy Chairman adjourned the House till 3 PM.
As the House met earlier, placard-carrying Opposition MPs trooped into the well of the House and shouted slogans against the suspension.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu expressed dismay at their conduct and said the suspended MPs have shown no remorse, and there was no question of revoking their suspension.
"It is sacrilege of the House, I have said (on the conduct of the 12 suspended MPs during the last session in August). There is no remorse by members who have really insulted the parliamentary system," he said.
Naidu ordered that nothing that the Opposition MPs say would go on record but said their conduct in the Well of the House should be shown to the people of the country.
When the House again met at 12 PM, the members continued with the protests and Deputy Chairman Harivansh urged the members to allow the Question Hour to function.
Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge sought to raise the issue of suspension but the Chair noted that Question Hour was on and nothing else could be raised.
However, Opposition members raised uproar after Kharge was not allowed to raise the issue and the House was adjourned till 2 PM.
As the House met in the morning, Naidu said even after indulging in such unparliamentary behaviour the members did not express any remorse.
"Coming to the well of the House, climbing on the table, throwing papers, snatching papers from the minister and also challenging the Chair... doing everything which is unparliamentary, undemocratic and they have no remorse. What can we do?" Naidu asked.
He said placards should not be shown and brought into the House.
"If you are determined... you don't want to have Zero Hour (where), very important issues (are listed to be raised), special mentions are there. You don't want special mentions, you don't want Zero Hour, you don't want House to run, crores of rupees are spent on this House and people are getting dismayed at what is happening in this House," he said before adjourning the proceedings till 1200 hours.
No sooner had Jose K Mani taken oath as member of the Upper House and listed official papers laid on the table of the House, MPs from Congress and other Opposition parties trooped into the well of the House shouting slogans.
Kharge wanted to speak but couldn't be heard in the din.
On Tuesday, Kharge had said that the motion for suspension moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi was in gross violation of the rules and action was taken in the current Winter Session of Parliament for alleged "unruly" conduct in the last session.
As many as 12 Opposition MPs were suspended from the Rajya Sabha on Monday for the entire Winter session of Parliament for their "unruly" conduct in the previous session in August, even as the Opposition termed the suspension as "undemocratic and in violation of all the Rules of Procedure" of the Upper House.
Six suspended MPs are from the Congress, two each from the Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, and one each from the CPI and CPM.