Proceedings in Rajya Sabha were disrupted again on Thursday even though coal and power minister Piyush Goyal expressed regret for his comment on remarks made by Congress leader Kumari Selja about her entry into a Gujarat temple.
Selja refused to accept the minister’s regret and efforts were being made outside the House to resolve the matter through a series of meetings of various parties’ leaders with chairman Hamid Ansari and deputy chairman PJ Kurien.
Congress members created uproar soon after the House mourned the death of thousands in the Bhopal gas leakage accident 31 years ago.
Slogan-shouting Congress members trooped into the Well of the House, demanding an apology by the minister.
“Mafi maango, mafi maango (express apology),” they shouted, along with “Constitution ka apman bandh karo, bandh karo (stop insulting the Constitution)”.
Selja, while participating in a debate on the Constitution on Monday, had alleged that she was asked about her caste at the temple when she visited there as a union minister.
She alleged that “this was also a form of the Gujarat model”, an apparent attack on Narendra Modi.
Commenting on this, Goyal said on Wednesday it was “manufactured discrimination”, leading to uproar because of which the House remained deadlocked for most part of the day.
Congress members shouted slogans and stormed the Well when deputy chairman PJ Kurien called Mohd Nadimal Haque (TMC) to raise his zero hour mention on Thursday.
At his point, parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu suggested that House be adjourned for a while to arrive at a solution.
When the House re-assembled after a 30-minute adjournment, Goyal said, “in view of the Chair’s decision to review the records, I regret my remarks with respect to my colleague Kumari Selja.”
However, uproar continued with Congress members again storming the Well after Selja refused to accept the BJP leader’s regret.
Chairman Hamid Ansari said order should be restored as the minister has expressed regret.
An agitated minister of state for parliamentary affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said the attitude of Congress members made it clear that they do not want the House to function. “This is not right,” he said.