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Rajya Sabha witnesses two adjournments over fuel price hike

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New Delhi:  The Rajya Sabha proceedings in the pre-lunch session were washed out on Tuesday as opposition parties, including the Congress and the TMC, forced two adjournments over a hike in the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders.

Opposition MPs trooped into the well of the House shouting slogans, not allowing the listed items to be taken up. The proceedings were first adjourned till 12 noon and then till 2 pm.

The petrol and diesel prices were hiked by 80 paise a litre on Tuesday, while the domestic cooking gas (LPG) rates were increased by Rs 50 per cylinder as the state-run oil firms ended the over-a-four-and-a-half-month-long election-related hiatus in rate revision, fanning inflation fears.

This was the first forced adjournment due to disruptions after 12 consecutive full sittings of the Rajya Sabha. All eight sittings of the first part of the Budget session of Parliament and the first four sittings of the ongoing second part were without any forced adjournments.

The previous record of 13 full sittings of the House without forced adjournments was set in the Monsoon session in 2019.

The Rajya Sabha missed the opportunity of setting a new record after three years on Tuesday, a senior official said.

The disruption-free run was interrupted when the House was adjourned by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu during the Zero Hour as Trinamool Congress (TMC) members insisted that their notice on price rise under Rule 267 be admitted.

No sooner had the listed papers were laid on the table of the House, Opposition MPs were on their feet, raising the issue of price rise.

Naidu said he had not accepted the notices given by Shaktisinh Gohil (Congress), Dola Sen (TMC), V Sivadasan, Elamaram Kareem and John Brittas (CPI-M) under Rule 267, requiring setting aside of the listed agenda to take up a discussion.

He said the issue can be discussed during demands for grants of the ministries concerned.

Not satisfied, the TMC members stormed into the well of the House carrying placards. The Congress, Left, Samajwadi Party and Shiv Sena members were also on their feet, some of them shouting slogans.

Amid the slogan-shouting, Naidu asked the protesting MPs to return to their seats.

He ordered that nothing that the protesting MPs said would go on the record.

With the opposition MPs unrelenting, the chairman said this will lead to the foregoing of the Zero-Hour submissions of 19 members.

“Names of the people, whoever is carrying placards, their names are to be noted and put in bulletin,” he said, before adjourning the proceedings till 12 noon.

Similar scenes were witnessed when the House met after the adjournment, with some Congress MPs joining the TMC members in the well. Other opposition MPs, including those from the Left parties, stood in the aisles.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh called for the Question Hour to be taken up and asked the opposition parties not to disrupt the proceedings.

The opposition members kept shouting slogans, drowning the voice of Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertiliser Bhagwanth Khuba, who was replying to the first listed question.

Harivansh asked TMC leader Derek O’Brien to call his party colleagues back to their seats and allow the Question Hour to proceed, saying precious national resources have been spent.

As the opposition members continued with their vociferous protest, he then adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.

The House resumed normal functioning in the post-lunch session.


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