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Monsoon session begins on stormy note

Last updated on: July 18, 2018 15:14 IST

Parliament’s monsoon session began amid sloganeering and protests from opposition of different issues. 

Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha proceedings began on a stormy note on the first day of the monsoon session on Wednesday, amid sloganeering and protests in the well even as the House went ahead with the Question Hour.

As soon as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan took up the Question Hour, members from opposition parties, including the Congress wanted to raise various issues.

 

Members from the Telugu Desam Party and the Samajwadi Party trooped into the well.

An assertive Mahajan told members that issues can be discussed after the Question Hour. "I won't allow...," she said even as many members continued to raise slogans.

Members from the TDP, a former ally of the ruling National Democratic Alliance government, trooped into the well with placards and were heard saying, "we want justice".

They demanded special status for Andhra Pradesh.

Some members from the SP were also in the well as they sought to raise various issues but could not be heard in the din.

Standing at their places, many Congress members were also trying to raise certain issues.

Despite the din, Mahajan went ahead with the Question Hour.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted members before the proceedings began in the Lower House.

Clad in a white kurta and pyjama, Modi took a round of the front rows of ruling and opposition benches. He greeted members with folded hands and was also seen exchanging a few words with Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. Some members clapped when the prime minister walked into the House.

United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi were among those present in the House.

Before the Question Hour commenced, four new members took oath and Mahajan read out obituaries of three former members.

Ready for discussion on any issue: PM

Reaching out to the opposition on the first day of Parliament's monsoon session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government was ready for a debate on any issue raised by political parties and asserted that decisions need to be taken on several important matters in national interest.

In his customary remarks to the media ahead of the session, he pitched for extensive discussion by MPs on different issues and hoped that political parties would make maximum use of the time in Parliament to push important works in the country

Modi said he had always hoped and worked for smooth functioning of Parliament and would continue to do so.

"If any political party or any member wants a discussion on any issue, the government is ready," Modi said, stressing that his government is ready for any debate.

The more extensive the discussion in Parliament, the better it is for the country, he said, adding that good suggestions will help his government in decision making.

Modi also expressed the hope that MPs and parties will conduct themselves in an exemplary manner and inspire state assemblies.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media ahead of Parliament's monsoon session, in New Delhi. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo

Nationalist Congress Party leader Madhukarrao Kukade, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Rajendra Gavit, Tokheho of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal MP Tabassum Begum took oath as members.

Mahajan announced that members would have Wi-Fi access inside the House through intra-net and can browse various government websites, among others.

The House condoled the death of many people in a bus accident in Uttarakhand and terror attacks in Afghanistan.

Mahajan expressed sorrow over the bus accident on July 1 that killed more than 40 people and injured many.

She also condoled the death of people, including 13 members from Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities, who were killed in terror attacks at Jalalabad in Afghanistan on July 1.

The speaker also mentioned terror attacks during Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations on June 16 and 17 in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.

"The House unequivocally and in strongest terms condemns these dastardly terrorist attacks and condoles the loss of innocent lives in these terror attacks," she said.

Members also stood in silence as a mark of respect to the departed souls.

Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha witnessed a brief adjournment after TDP members sought an immediate debate on their demand for a special package for Andhra Pradesh.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu agreed to take up the matter on Thursday or Friday.

As soon as the ministers laid the listed papers during the Zero Hour, TDP MP C M Ramesh was on his feet demanding a discussion on the Andhra Pradesh issue.

Naidu said he has received notices for suspension of rules for discussing various issues from several members including Ramesh.

The chairman said he has rejected the suggestion of suspension of bussiness to take up the discussion.

Instead, he said he has converted the notices in Zero Hour mentions, barring the notice given by Ramesh.

Ramesh, the chair said, has given a notice on a very important issue and a detailed short-duration discussion would be held on the issue "may be" on Thursday or Friday.

However, Ramesh insisted that the discussion should start immediately.

To this, Naidu said for a discussion, the minister concerned should be ready.

Ramesh again suggested that the discussion should start immediately as the Andhra Pradesh issue was not new.

Congress MP K V P Ramachandra Rao from Andhra Pradesh raised a banner. When Naidu objected to it, he withdrew it.

As the TDP member again sought a discussion, Naidu adjourned the House till noon.

When the proceedings resumed, Ramesh insisted that the Chair should start the debate immediately.

TDP leader Y S Choudhary demanded a four-hour discussion on the matter and a committment from the government on the Andhra issue.

But the chairman said: "I have not admitted your notice. You cannot dictate to me, Mr Ramesh. All matters were discussed with opposition leaders. ...Don't deprive members of their right (ask question)."

The matter will be taken up in the business advisory committee meeting later, he added.

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