Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day amidst protest from opposition members
New Delhi: The proceedings of the Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day on Wednesday amid unrelenting protests by opposition members over the issue of suspension of 12 MPs.
When the 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.”
However, the opposition members continued their protest and Kalita adjourned the house for day.
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.
He also told some members that photography in the House was not allowed when they tried to click pictures with their phones. When opposition members refused to relent, the deputy chairman adjourned the House till 3 pm.
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 an uproar seeking revocation of the suspension of the MPs.
When 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 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 the deputy chairman urged the members to allow the Question Hour to proceed.
Leader of the Opposition Kharge sought to raise the issue of suspensions but the chair noted that the Question Hour was on and nothing else could be raised.
Opposition members raised an 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.