IMAGE: Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu tried to bring order to the Upper House, but to no avail. Photograph: PTI Photo
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day soon after new and re-elected members took oath as MPs from various parties, including Congress and TMC, trooped into the Well raising slogans in support of their demands.
The Upper House has not transacted substantial business ever since it met on March 5 after a recess to carry forward the Budget session due to disruptions by different parties on matters like bank frauds, Cauvery river water, special status for Andhra Pradesh and issues related to Dalits.
MPs belonging to the Congress, TMC, SP, BSP, TDP and those of Tamil parties -- DMK and AIADMK, rushed into the Well as soon as 41 members took oath and Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked ministers to lay papers on the table of the House.
The Congress and the BSP accused the government of being “anti-Dalit”. TMC was protesting against bank frauds, while TDP members were demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh.
KVP Ramachandra Rao of the Congress was also holding a placard demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh.
The two prominent Tamil parties were demanding constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board for division of river water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Amid sloganeering by protesting MPs, Naidu tried to bring order in the House.
As they did not yield, the Chairman adjourned the House for the day.
Lok Sabha proceedings were disrupted for the 19th consecutive day on Tuesday due to protests by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members seeking early constitution of the Cauvery water management board.
The ruckus saw the first adjournment of House proceedings within four minutes after it assembled to take up the day’s business and then for the day at noon after listed papers were laid and Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement on Monday’s bandh called to protest “dilution” of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Even before the House re-assembled at noon, AIADMK members, carrying placards trooped into the Well of the House shouting slogans such as ‘we want justice’ and ‘we demand Cauvery board’.
Citing assembly polls in Karnataka, the Centre had last week sought more time from the Supreme Court to set up the Cauvery water management board to implement water sharing formula among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Left, Telugu Desam Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal members were standing at their seats seeking the Speaker’s ruling on notices they had given on the no-confidence motion, moved by some of them.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan appealed to AIADMK members to return to their seats, saying she cannot take up notices on the no-confidence motion unless the House is in order.
“I am duty bound to place the no-confidence motion. I am sorry. Please go to your seats. I have to do a head count. I have not been able to take up notices on the no-confidence motion,” she said.
Congress Chief Whip Jyotiraditya Scindia said the opposition wanted a discussion on the no-confidence motion and 50 members were ready for it.
“We also want to discus the dilution of the SC/ST Act,” he said.
At this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government was ready for a discussion and give reply to the no-confidence motion.
“We want discussion. For the last 15 days we have been saying we want discussion. It is the Congress which is preventing the discussion. The Congress is trying to stall
democracy, which is not acceptable. We are ready for discussion,” he said.
Even though opposition members went back to their seats to bring order in the House, slogan-shouting AIADMK members continued their protests in the Well.
As the pandemonium continued, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.