The Upper House was repeatedly adjourned and the final adjournment for the day came minutes after 3 pm because of relentless shouting of slogans against the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Congress members who were in the Well all the time
Proceedings in Rajya Sabha were washed out for the third consecutive day on Thursday as Congress members continued to create uproar over the National Herald case, inviting strong reaction from the ruling side which contended that the House was being held “hostage”.The Upper House was repeatedly adjourned and the final adjournment for the day came minutes after 3 pm because of relentless shouting of slogans against the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Congress members who were in the Well all the time. Trouble started soon after the House met for the day with Congress members raising anti-government slogans over the summons issued by a Delhi court to party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIADMK members also moved into the aisles in the morning demanding that the devastation caused by the Chennai floods be declared a national calamity. The noisy scenes first forced Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the House till 1130 hours and then again till noon. Kurien also got the listed papers of the day laid on the table and then called for Zero Hour mentions, as noisy scenes continued.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi expressed strong object to the opposition’s behaviour. “Ministers are sitting in the House to answer questions of members. If some members are not seeking to ask questions, why are other members being prevented from doing so? Some people cannot hold the House to ransom. Unfortunately, some people are taking this House hostage. The House needs your protection,” he told Chairman Hamid Ansari during Question Hour.Congress members continued slogan-shouting like “Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi (Prime Minister’s authoritarianism will not be tolerated).” In the din, Health Minister J P Nadda said the government was ready for a discussion on the issue and wanted it to be initiated immediately. Kurien asked members to return to their seats and start discussion but no one heeded to his pleas.BJP members were also on their feet, as Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reiterated that the government was ready for discussion on “all issues”.”We are ready for a debate on all the issues, including the National Herald case and Himachal Pradesh chief minister’s issue. We are ready for a debate right away. Why is Parliament not allowed to function…They are running away from debate. Start discussion on…on all issues,” he said amid noise. When the House re-assembled at 2 PM, Naresh Agrawal (SP), who was to speak on the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, said there was no Cabinet Minister in the House even though Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot was present.But by then Congress members trooped into the well raising slogans. Agrawal requested the Chair to bring the House in order for him to speak. Naqvi said since the discussion has already started so he should start speaking on the bill.In the meanwhile, Anubhav Mohanty (BJD) raised the issue of Polvaram alleging that the government has become “a party to it instead of playing the role of an arbitrator”. “My state of Odisha is agitated. This is a social issue not a political issue,” he said, demanding that there should be “no Polavaram before the Supreme Court decision” and asked the government to “withdraw” its decision on it. He also soought an “immediate assurance” from the Centre that there will no Polavaram till the Supreme Court decided on the issue.BJD has been resisting the decision to hike the proposed dam’s height saying it was done without taking the Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments into confidence. As Congress members kept shouting slogans from the Well, a visibly exasperated Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he is “helpless”. “You help me. I will be very grateful for that. Nobody is helping me,” he said.Naqvi cited Parliament rules and asked the Chair that those making noise in the House should be “sent outside”. “Rules will help you. Please send them out and give them leave, those who are making noise here, so that they can introspect on how they are harming national interest. Let them shout at Jantar Mantar or sit at dharna at Gandhi Samadhi.Some good sense could prevail on them after that. “No charcha (debate), only kharcha (expenditure). Common man is being burdened. Development and reforms have been stalled for their own political interest. The House needs the Chair’s protection. The Chairman should use his authority to protect the interests of the House,” Naqvi said.However, Congress members kept on shouting. Kurien said that such “howling” is not good. As the din continued, he adjourned the House till 3 PM.The same situation prevailed when the House met again.Kurien said, “I am sorry, our members are howling and shouting. What can I do? I cannot take up the bill. It is very unfortunate and sad state of affairs. Amid din, the Chair allowed members to lay their Special Mentions. Kurien appealed to Congress members to allow the House to function, but they did not relent, forcing him to call it a day.