The Rajya Sabha proceeding washed out completely on Wednesday and was adjourned for the day amid continued protest by the Opposition parties led by the Congress over price rise and levy of goods and services tax (GST) on daily essentials.
As soon as the House resumed in the afternoon, Deputy Chairman Harivansh called Congress member Shaktisinh Gohil to speak on the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022.
In the meantime, the opposition parties led by the Congress continued their protest and sloganeering in the House.
Despite repeated requests by the deputy chairman of the Upper House, some members trooped into the well.
He requested them to go back to their seats.
He also took note of Randeep Singh Surjewala taking pictures in the House and asked him not to do that saying it was against the rules.
Even Union Minister Piyush Goyal pointed out that some members were taking pictures.
When the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman did not find Gohil speaking on the bill, he called P Wilson to speak on it.
Wilson asked the deputy chairman to bring the House in order, but he called Biju Janata Dal member Prashanta Nanda to speak on the bill.
Later, Wilson said he was willing to speak on the bill.
But in the meantime, the deputy chairman adjourned the House for the day. He said the members had the chance to speak on the bill on Tuesday and now also.
In the pre-lunch session too, Rajya Sabha proceedings were washed out without transacting any business after Opposition parties continued to protest over price rise and levy of GST on daily essentials.
While Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he has allowed a discussion on the issue of price rise, the opposition parties insisted that it be held immediately, setting aside the agenda of the day.
As the Opposition members began trooping into the well of the House holding packets of milk and curd, on which a five per cent GST was effected from July 18, Naidu adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
Soon after listed official papers were laid on the table, Naidu allowed Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge to briefly mention the subject on which he and others had given a notice under rule 267.
Kharge said the rising prices of essential commodities have hit the common man hard.
Close on the heels of an increase in petrol and diesel prices and cooking gas rates spiking to record levels, daily essential items like wheat, rice, flour and curd have been slapped with a GST, he said, adding this had burdened the common man.
Naidu said the business advisory committee (BAC) of the House has agreed to a discussion on price rise.
"I am allowing a discussion, you don't want it, I will adjourn (proceedings) then," he said.
As opposition members insisted on acceptance of the rule 267 notice that calls for setting aside the listed agenda and taking up the issue that is being raised, Naidu said, "You cannot dictate to me."
"In the BAC it was suggested we must have a discussion. I have agreed for the discussion on price rise (but) you people don't want," Naidu said before adjourning the proceedings till afternoon.
After the adjournment, some opposition MPs were spotted in the well of the House holding packets of milk, curd and buttermilk and shouting 'scrap GST'.