Parliament adjourned for day amid Opposition, govt face-off over Rahul’s remarks
New Delhi: Lok Sabha was adjourned Thursday with proceedings lasting just three minutes through the day as the Opposition and treasury benches remained at loggerheads over Rahul Gandhi’s democracy remarks and the demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Adani issue.
As the House reconvened at 2 PM, Rahul Gandhi was present in the House for the first time since the controversy around his remarks in the UK broke out.
Kirit Solanki, who was in the chair, urged members to be seated and stop the sloganeering if they want a debate but the Opposition and treasury benches continued with their slogan-shouting and the House was adjourned for the day just a minute after reconvening.
In the morning session, the House proceedings had lasted only for two minutes.
Trinamool Congress members, with their mouths covered with a black ribbon, had gathered in the Well of the House as the proceedings got underway in the Lok Sabha.
BJP members from West Bengal were seen raising slogans against the Trinamool Congress over the school recruitment scam in the state, while other members of the ruling party were demanding an apology from Gandhi over his remarks in London.
Congress members also trooped in the Well of the Lok Sabha raising slogans but they couldn’t be heard clearly in the din.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla urged the members to allow the House to function.
“I want to run the House, I want to give you enough opportunities and time to speak. You have to go to your seats. You come to the well and then go outside and tell that you don’t get a chance to speak. This is not right,” he said.
The House has to function smoothly, Birla said, also gesturing at the members of the treasury benches to take their seats.
“You come to the Well and also demand discussion. You don’t want me to run the House. You do not want any discussion, you do not want any debate on the Budget. You just want to shout slogans. Parliament has dignity and we all have to maintain dignity,” he said.
With members unrelenting, Birla adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
Since the start of the second leg of the Budget session, Lok Sabha has not been able to transacting any significant business.
Discussions on the demand for grants of various ministries and the budget for Jammu and Kashmir have been listed in the Lok Sabha.
During his interactions in the UK, Gandhi alleged that the structures of Indian democracy are under attack and there is a “full-scale assault” on the country’s institutions.
The former Congress president also told British parliamentarians in London that microphones are often “turned off” in Lok Sabha when an opposition member raises important issues.
Gandhi’s remarks triggered a political slugfest, with the BJP accusing him of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking foreign intervention, and the Congress hitting back at the ruling party by citing instances of Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising internal politics abroad.
Rajya Sabha proceedings were also adjourned for the day amid uproarious scenes with the opposition and treasury benches shouting slogans.
When the Upper House re-assembled for the afternoon session, having been adjourned earlier in the morning, several members were already in the well of the House.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh asked the members to return to their respective seats and allow the proceedings to continue.
As the members continued to shout, he adjourned the House for the day.
Earlier in the day, Trinamool Congress MPs were in the well of the House even before the start of the proceedings and raised slogans saying they were not being allowed to speak.
TMC members were also wearing black masks as a mark of protest.
Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar urged the members to take to their seats but treasury benches raised their pitch demanding an apology from Rahul Gandhi for his democracy remarks made abroad.
Opposition members also created an uproar and the chair adjourned the House within two minutes of meeting.
The Rajya Sabha has not been able to transact any business since Monday when it met for the second leg of the Budget session, amid opposition uproar.
The opposition members have been blaming the BJP for creating pandemonium in the House and for not allowing it to function.