After a washout of Lok Sabha proceedings for a week, noisy protests by the opposition over Lalit Modi, Vyapam and other issues today led to a short adjournment of the House, but only after it took up three questions during the Question Hour.
As soon as the House met for the day, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan told members that she has rejected notices of adjournment motion on the IPL scam by Mallikarjun Kharge, M Veerappa Moily (both Congress), K Karunakaran (CPI-M) and N K Premchandran (RSP) and similar notice given by Mohd Salim on Vyapam scam and Jeethendra Reddy (TRS) on separate High Court in Telangana.
Soon, Congress members sporting black bands on their arms rushed to the Well holding placards. They shouted slogans against the Prime Minister for his “silence” on the Lalit Modi controversy, demanding the resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
Holding placards, members from Samajwadi Party demanded the release of caste-based census data.
Members of the Trinamool Congress were raising slogans demanding withdrawal of controversial amendments to the land acquisition bill and shouting slogans like ‘kisan ro raha hai, Modi sarkar so raha hai’ (farmers are crying while Modi government is sleeping).
Despite repeated appeals by the Speaker against displaying placards, Congress, TRS and SP members continued to raise slogans. “Please withdraw the placards, this is against the rules,” she said.
Amid the din, the House took up three questions relating to Tribal Affairs, Petroleum and Railways, though nothing much could be heard.
Replying to a supplementary, when Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan referred to Prime Minister’s slogan of giving up LPG subsidy, NDA members welcomed the remark by thumping desks, prompting the Opposition members to raise their pitch.
As the opposition continued with its protest, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was seen directing party members to continue with the sloganeering. Incidentally, he was not wearing black band on his arm today.
As the pandemonium continued, the House was adjourned for 35 minutes till 12 noon.
Rajya Sabha adjourned till tomorrow
Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day today after paying tribute to sitting BJD member Kalpataru Das and former members R S Gavai and B K Handique who died recently.
While Das (65) passed away here on July 25 after a prolonged battle with cancer, Gavai (86) who also served as governor of Bihar and Kerala, died on the same day. Handique (81) breathed his last in Guwahati yesterday.
Paying glowing tributes, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari described Das as a “distinguished parlamentarian and a dedicated social worker” and said his death was a big loss to the country. Das represented Odisha in the House from April 2014.
The Chairman remembered Gavai as an “able administrator”, who served as governor of Bihar and Kerala and was recipient of several awards including the National Press Award for his outstanding contribution to various fields of public life, including journalism.
He represented Maharashtra in the House from April 2000 to April 2006.
Remembering Handique, Ansari said he had founded many educational institutions and was actively involved in promoting crafts skills among women, setting up of community halls for tea plantation workers and minority population and organising relief work in natural calamities.
He served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Affairs, Chemical and Fertilizers and Mines and was also the Minister of Mines and Development of the North Eastern Region.
Handique represented Assam in the Upper House from April 1980 to April 1986.
After the obituary references, the Chairman adjourned the House for the day, as part of a practice whenever a sitting member passes away.