Protests continued for the 14th day, seeing proceedings in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha being washed out.
The Rajya Sabha was on Thursday adjourned for the day following noisy protests by the Congress, Telugu Desam Party and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on various issues soon after the House passed the payment of gratuity bill.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he has been adjourning the proceedings as he does not want the people to “see ugly scenes”, an apparent reference to slogan shouting and display of placards by members of different parties in the Well.
The House has been disrupted over various issues like banking scam, Cauvery water issue and demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh, ever since it met on March 5 to carry forward the Budget Session.
As the House met on Thursday morning, the listed papers were laid on the table and brief statements were made by TDP member C Ramesh and AIADMK MP V Maitreyen, after which the House passed the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill with a voice vote.
However, the semblance of normality was short lived as slogan shouting members from the TDP and the AIADMK soon trooped into the Well. They were joined by some Congress members.
The Chairman tried to bring order in the House but failed. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel also requested the protesting members to return to their seats saying the government was willing to discuss all issues.
Amid the din, Naidu said he was being asked why he was adjourning the House.
“Ugly scenes are being seen by people. I don’t want these ugly scenes to be seen by people,” the Chairman said.
As protesting members did not yield to the Chair’s request, Naidu adjourned the House for the day after just 17 minutes of proceedings.
Earlier, veteran Congress MP Motilal Vora, 89, was praised by the Chairman for being regular in attending the House and conducting himself in a “dignified manner”, amid thumping of desks by members from the treasury as well as the opposition.
Naidu said young members of the House should try to emulate Vora.
Earlier, Naidu started the proceedings by mentioning that March 22 is celebrated every year as World Water Day.
He expressed the hope that the entire House will join him in supporting the conservation of fresh water resources through natural methods to ensure availability of sufficient potable water for future generations. The members responded by thumping of desks.
The proceedings of Lok Sabha became a casualty of noisy protests by the AIADMK and TRS members yet again on Thursday as the House was adjourned for the day
without transacting any business.
The two notices of no confidence motion against the council of ministers were not taken up for the fourth day as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said she could not proceed forward unless the House was in order.
The Question Hour was washed out in the morning due to protests by AIADMK and TRS members over Cauvery and quota issues respectively. As soon as the House met again, the ministers laid the listed papers even as the protests resumed.
The AIADMK is pressing for immediate setting up of the Cauvery river management board. The TRS, whose members held placards saying ‘One Nation One Law’, is demanding that the states be given the right to determine the proportion of reservations.
While AIADMK and TRS members were seen in the Well holding placards and raising slogans, members from the Congress and Left were heard asking the Speaker to bring order so that the notices of no confidence motion could be taken up.
Parliamentary Affairs minister Ananth Kumar said the government was ready to answer on all issues, including banking scam and no confidence motion, provided they are taken up.
He, like in the past, urged the agitating members to return to their seats so that the Lok Sabha can function smoothly.
When Mahajan took up the notices of no trust vote, the protesting AIADMK members raised their pitch.
As several Congress, Left and Trinamool Congress members demanded that the Chair bring order in the House, Mahajan said she can’t see anything from her seat (apparently due to placards being held by AIADMK and TRS members) and can’t count the 50 members required to support the no trust move.
Photograph: PTI Photo