Ruckus-hit Rajya Sabha halts proceedings 10 times on Wednesday
The Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned on Wednesday as well due to ruckus created by Opposition members. It was the tenth time in a row that Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and deputy Chairman PJ Kurien adjourned proceedings in the Upper House during the day despite repeated appeals to Opposition members.
The Opposition was protesting the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, which was moved by minister Jitendra Singh. The anti-graft Bill has been pending in Parliament since 2013. Due to uproar by Opposition MPs, the Rajya Sabha could not pass the Bill on Wednesday.
“It is unfortunate that Rajya Sabha failed to carry out its daily business,” quipped deputy Chairman PJ Kurien.
“If the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill is not passed, it will stall many programmes of the government. The Bill is not in the government’s interest, it is in national interest. So it has to be passed,” Kurien had earlier pleaded to Opposition members, after they rushed to the well of the House shouting slogans.
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu had earlier admonished members for not allowing transaction of any Bills. Naidu said Rajya Sabha members were testing the patience of the people of this country. “We have not transacted any Bills. The country wants development and you are testing the patience of the people of this country. Please understand that the entire country is agitated with what is happening in the House,” he had shot out.
Ruckus has prevailed in both Houses of Parliament during this Budget session over the CBSE paper leak, Cauvery issue, special status to Andhra Pradesh, which has led to a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government, and more recently the Dalit agitation on Monday, which has claimed 10 lives across the country over alleged dilution of the SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
In the afternoon, leaders of 13 Opposition parties met and urged the government and the presiding officers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to allow discussion on issues being raised by them, saying they were willing to extend the Budget session to pass the government’s legislative agenda.
Leader of Opposition in the Upper House Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Our party and the present ruling party decided on Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh. Why is it not being given? We want discussion on that, we want discussion on CBSE paper leak and, most importantly, on the SC/ST Atrocities Act.”
“The entire Opposition is for the passage of Bills. While it is our responsibility to do so, at the same time we have been mandated to raise issues affecting million of Indians,” Azad added.