With no signs of thaw in the deadlock with the government, a combative Opposition on Friday continued their vociferous protests in the Lok Sabha over the demonetization issue, forcing adjournment of the House for the day without transacting much business.
Marking another week of virtual washout of proceedings barring the passage of the Bill to amend the I-T Act without discussion, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the proceedings for the day little past 12.30 pm.
Opposition members, including those from the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the All India United Democratic Front and the Left parties, trooped into the Well, resorting to high-decibel sloganeering. Some of them were even howling as the proceedings went on.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Nationalist Congress Party members were seen standing at their seats.
As the ruckus continued during Question Hour, a visibly peeved Mahajan said it was not proper to disturb other members and also warned the protesting members not to disrupt ministers when they were giving replies.
"I am warning you, I will have to name you... I am again requesting you, this is not good, this is not proper, don’t disturb others," she said.
While mentioning that they have been doing it for several days, Mahajan said, “I have not prevented you but please don’t curb the rights of other members... Don’t come to this side (in front of Treasury benches). Don’t disrupt the ministers who are replying to questions.”
Notices for adjournment motion moved by various members from the Opposition were not allowed by the Speaker.
Amid the din, the House was adjourned for a brief while till noon amid protests during the question hour, where as many as seven questions and supplementaries were taken up.
Members continued their protests after the House resumed at noon. The zero hour went on for little over half-an-hour before Mahajan adjourned the proceedings for the day.
Vociferous protests by Opposition benches demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his statements outside Parliament, led to the stalling of question hour in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
As Chairman Hamid Ansari called for the first question of the day at noon, opposition Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party members created ruckus in the Upper House as they kept shouting slogans demanding Modi’s presence and an apology from him.
Ansari told protesting members to maintain order in the House and urged them not to ‘trample on the rights of members asking starred questions’.
But unrelenting members intensified shouting slogans – ‘Pradhan mantri maafi maango (PM apologise), rona dhona band karo, pradhan mantri House mein aao (Stop crying, prime minister come to the House).
The Bharatiya Janata Party members were on their feet to counter the Opposition and shouted ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ slogans.
Observing that 'this is unfair', Ansari said, "Why aren't you shouting slogans in the streets. This is not the place to shout."
The Chair's pleas to maintain order went unheeded and the House was adjourned till 2.30 pm.
As soon as the Rajya Sabha reconvened at 2.30 hours, the Opposition members again trooped into Well of the House and created ruckus by shouting slogans such as ‘Modi teri taanasahi nahin chaleg, nahi chalegii (Modi, your dictatorial attitude will not be tolerated)’.
BJP members were also shouting slogans countering the opposition parties but nothing could be heard in the din.
The AIADMK members were also in the Well of the House, raising some demand but it was not clear what those were.
With Oppostion members unrelenting, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourned the House for the day.
However, before adjouring the House, Kurien took up private members’ legislative business amid din.
K K Ragesh (Communist Party of India) introduced a private member bill proposing to amend the Constitution to insert a new Article 21(b). Article 21 deals with fundamental right to life and liberty.
V Vijayasai Reddy (Yuvajana, Shramika, Rythu Congress) also introduced a bill proposing to amend the Articles 102 and 191 of the Constitution. Article 102 deals with disqualification of members of either House of Parliament, while Article 191 deals with disqualification of members of legislative assemblies or councils.
Sasikala Pushpa (AIADMK) introduced a bill to provide for welfare of women by providing fund and creating employment opportunities. The bill also seeks to provide for equal pay to women workers as well as reservation of posts and appointments for women in services under the central government.
Vivek Gupta of Trinamool Congress introduced a Bill to provide for an independent audit committee to examine and scrutinise the available and actually disbursed remuneration and statutory benefits to tea workers.
It also seeks to constitute a fund to promote welfare facilities and other special provisions, reservation for their children in colleges and universities and for overall welfare of tea workers.
Gupta also introduced a Bill to provide for the establishment of an Inter-State River Water Authority to look into regulations and development of dams on inter-state rivers, controlling developmental activities on inter-state rivers, monitoring the safety and effects on habitats of dams on inter-state rivers..