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Ruckus forces adjournment of Parliament for 18th straight day

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said she was unable to take up the no-confidence motion notices against the government as there was no order in the House.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2018 18:05 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Parliament session,Lok Sabha,Rajya Sabha
Opposition members protest during the ongoing budget session of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI Photo)

Ruckus prevailed in both Houses of Parliament on Monday as opposition parties and those from Tamil Nadu created noisy scenes, forcing their adjournment for the 18th straight day without transacting any substantial business.

While the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day within about six minutes after it assembled in the morning, the Lok Sabha was adjourned due to the protests for the first time till noon within four minutes after it had met and then for the day after the listed papers were laid.

Before adjourning the Lok Sabha for the day, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said she was unable to take up the notices for no-confidence motion against the government, served by several opposition parties, as there was no order in the House.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition protests forced the adjournment of proceedings for the day without transaction of any business as members trooped into the Well and shouted slogans, drowning every other voice.

MPs belonging to the Congress, Trinamool Congress, BSP, TDP and parties from Tamil Nadu -- DMK and AIADMK, were in the Well even before Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu could settle down in his chair.

Read | Looking back: When Parliament faced its worst disruption in 2010

Unlike the past days when listed papers were allowed to be laid on the table peacefully, Naidu had to go through the exercise today amid chaos as members persisted with slogan shouting.

The Congress and the BSP led the charge against the government, accusing it of being “anti-dalit”, in an apparent reference to the Supreme Court ruling on the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Members of the main opposition party also raised the issue of India’s biggest bank fraud, alongside the TMC.

Tamil parties were demanding immediate constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board for division of river water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, while members of the TDP and KVP Ramachandra Rao of the Congress held placards demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh.

Amid the din, Naidu called the ministers to lay the listed papers., while warning the protestors that “the entire country is watching ... You are not going to achieve anything. You are making a mockery of parliamentary system.” He said the Chair was ready to allow discussion on all the issues being raised by opposition parties, and even the government as well as the opposition were ready for it.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said important bills were listed for discussion in the last week of the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament. The government, he said, was ready to discuss all issues. “I don’t understand why, for small issues concerning them, they are not allowing the House to function,” Goel said.

However, as the ruckus continued, the Chairman adjourned the proceedings for the day, barely six minutes after the House had assembled.

The proceedings in the Lok Sabha were disrupted yet again for the 18th day today, amid slogan shouting by AIADMK members seeking early constitution of the Cauvery water management board. Amid the din, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House till 12 noon during the Question Hour.

As soon as the House met for the day and took up the Question Hour, AIADMK members rushed into the Well shouting slogans such as ‘we want justice’ and ‘we demand Cauvery board’. Citing assembly polls in Karnataka, the Centre has sought more time from the Supreme Court last week to set up the board to implement water sharing formula between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

While the TMC members were seated in their places, those of the TDP, which has moved a notice of no confidence against the government, were standing at their seats with black ribbons pinned to their shirts as a mark of protest.

As the ruckus continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon, barely four minutes after it had met after a long weekend.

Even before the House was re-assembled at noon, the AIADMK members, carrying placards, trooped into the Well shouting slogans.

Congress, NCP, Left, TDP and RJD members were standing in their seats seeking the Speaker’s ruling on the notices they had given on the no-confidence motion, moved by some of them.

The Speaker appealed to the AIADMK members to return to their seats saying she cannot take up the no-confidence motion unless the House is in order.

“I am duty bound to place the no-confidence motion. But this is not the way. Please go to your seats. I am not in a position to count,” she said. A notice of no-confidence can be taken up in the House if it is supported by at least 50 members present, for which a headcount is needed.

Parliamentary Minister Ananth Kumar also said the government was ready for discussion and give reply to the no-confidence motion but there has to be complete harmony in the House.

Leader of the Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge, who has also submitted a notice for no-confidence motion, said the opposition wanted to discuss a host of issues, including the recent Supreme Court ruling on SC/ST Act and alleged paper leak of the CBSE examinations.

However, as the AIADMK members continued raising slogans, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

First Published: Apr 02, 2018 17:10 IST