The Rajya Sabha’s proceedings were disrupted once again on Monday as Congress members demanded finance minister Arun Jaitley’s resignation over alleged corruption in the DDCA.
The disruptions came despite an understanding reached on Friday at an all-party meeting on the passage of several pending bills.
Soon after Rajya Sabha members agreed on the urgency of the juvenile justice bill, leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the DDCA issue and mentioned Jaitley’s alleged involvement.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley, who is also leader of the house and facing heat in the Delhi and District Cricket Association case, said he was ready to respond to any charges, and asked the opposition for a discussion.
He said he had already taken legal recourse on the charges made against him outside parliament.
“I have absolutely no difficulty... some people make allegation outside (parliament). I have taken legal recourse... please waive off all rules and ask the leader of opposition to start discussion on any specific things against me; I will answer it right now,” Jaitley said.
“I am not going to live by these vague statements. Let him make any specific charge, I will answer it right now,” the finance minister said.
The Congress members however began raising slogans, prompting Jaitley to question: “Do I assume they have nothing to say?”
Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien expunged Azad‘s remarks from record.
Kurien said there is a procedure for levelling allegations against a member of the House or a minister and a prior notice to the concerned has to be given.
“Even when the finance minister says he is ready for discussion, shouting of slogans is unjustifiable and unacceptable. This is most unfortunate,” Kurien said before adjourning the house till 12 noon.
When the house met again, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said a supplementary list of business will be brought to discuss the juvenile justice bill.
As the deputy chairman prepared to take up the zero hour mentions, Congress members began raising slogans again. They displayed placards and trooped near the chairman’s podium.
“No one will resign,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said. No one will resign over “false charges” levelled against them, he asserted.
But Congress members were unrelenting and continued to raise slogans. They held placards that read: “First Resign, Then Discussion” and “Caesar’s Wife Should Be Above Suspicion.”
Kurien said the Leader of the House was ready for discussion and the Congress should give notice for discussion.
The slogan shouting intensified after Naqvi ruled out resignation, forcing Kurien to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.
Chairman Hamid Ansari later adjourned the house till 12 30 pm.