Parliament was adjourned for the second consecutive day on Friday without transacting any business after the opposition stepped up its demand for an independent investigation into the allegations of fraud against billionaire Gautam Adani's companies that triggered an unprecedented stock crash.
Proceedings in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were disrupted as Opposition members raised slogans demanding a discussion and a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the fraud-allegation-triggered rout.
Speaker Om Birla's appeals to opposition members to stop their protests and sloganeering and participate in the discussions went unheeded while Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said opposition members, who had trooped inside the well of the House, will be 'dealt with'.
"Those who have come in the well of the House violating the regime applicable here will be dealt with," Dhankhar said.
He said he shares the 'distress and anguish' of millions of people over 'the kind of lack of decorum we are exhibiting here'.
Earlier in the day, Dhankhar rejected 15 adjournment notices filed by members of various opposition parties to discuss the Adani Group issue in the wake of allegations made against the conglomerate by a United States-based short seller.
Rejecting the notices, he said these are not fulfilling the requirements of rule 267 and are not in conformity with the direction of the chair on December 8, 2022.
This led to strong protests from opposition members.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Syed Naseer Hussain, Pramod Tiwari, Kumar Ketkar, Amee Yajnik and Neeraj Dangi, John Brittas, Sanjay Singh, Santhosh Kumar P and Priyanka Chaturvedi were among those who had given notices under rule 267.
A discussion under rule 267 entails that all other listed business of the day will be set aside to take up the important issue raised.
Dhankhar also told the protesting members that Parliament is the essence and the North Star of democracy.
It is a place for discussion and deliberation to realise the aspirations and dreams of the people and not a place of disturbance, he said.
Attacking the government, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the Narendra Modi dispensation has been 'stalling' the Opposition's demand for discussions on every issue which it feels would embarrass it.
The government, however, insisted that the Opposition should allow the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address immediately by ending disruptions.
"Whatever issues they want to flag, they can during the debate ...Passage of the resolution thanking the President for her address to the joint sitting of the two Houses is a priority," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal told PTI video.
In the morning, the opposition parties met in Kharge's chamber and coordinated their strategy for the day.
While 16 parties including the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Samajwadi Party, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Bharat Rashtra Samiti, the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), the Janata Dal-United, the Nationalist Congress Party and the National Conference participated in the meeting on Friday, the Trinamool Congress did not attend the same.
The TMC was present in the Thursday meeting of opposition parties.
"Parliament adjourned for another day because the Opposition demands a JPC on the PM-linked Adani issue that is playing havoc on the savings of crores of Indians," Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said.
"Modi sarkar says MPs are wasting public money. What about the crores people have lost over the last few days of the 'Maha mega scam," he asked.
He also accused the government of being fearful of the Opposition demands for a JPC on the Adani issue and alleged that the business group has patronage at the highest levels.
"Due to the investment made by LIC-SBI in Adani Group, the money of common citizens of the country is sinking. The Opposition is demanding an inquiry into the entire matter," the Congress said.
The party also said that it has been two days, and the Opposition is demanding a discussion on the Adani issue in Parliament.
"The money of the people of the country invested in LIC-SBI is sinking. The opposition wants to raise the voice of the public in the House and discuss their concerns. But, PM Modi is running away from the discussion, saving his friend. Fear of what," the opposition party asked.
Adani Group has lost more than $100 billion in market value since Hindenburg Research accused it of stock manipulation and accounting fraud in the January 24 report.
The group has denied any wrongdoing and has threatened to sue Hindenburg.
'Dow Jones dropped Adani from Sustainability Indices. Action is being taken against Adani all over the world, but PM Modi is quiet. Where are SEBI, ED, ROC, and SFIO? When will our government take action,' the Congress asked on Twitter.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, 'The difference between the global financial community and India's approach to allegations against Adani is stark.'
'Distant third parties like S&P Dow Jones remove Adani Enterprises on the severity of allegations. Our own regulators and government remain inactive and silent despite 10 days of mayhem,' she said on Twitter.
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also wrote to the SEBI chief demanding action on the Adani issue not just for the sake of shareholders who are losing their money but also in the national interest.
'Reminding SEBI about its authority to regulate the markets and ensure transparency, compliances are met with so as to not shake the investor confidence & wipe off wealth of investors,' she said on Twitter.
TMC MP Mahua Moitra also tweeted: 'S&P Dow Jones removes Adani Enterprises from Dow Jones indices due to stock manipulation and accounting fraud charges.
'Why is NSE not reevaluating index membership of Adani stocks when international ones are.'