The Rajya Sabha was adjourned on Friday till 2.30 pm as two Tamil parties, AIADMK and DMK, continued their protest over the Cauvery issue, while the Opposition Congress and treasury benches sparred over the Rafale jet deal. While the Congress MPs sought a discussion on Rafale, Parliamentary Affairs minister Vijay Goel said that the government was not only ready for a discussion but also to start it right away.
Chairman Venkaiah Naidu appealed to government and opposition members to meet and discuss in the next few days to chalk out a plan on how to run the House. Expressing his displeasure, Naidu said that he could take action against people coming to the Well. He said, “I will not be happy to but if I will be taking action, it will be irrespective of the party.”
As soon as the Upper House met, Naidu appealed to all members to cooperate in the smooth functioning of the house as discussion on several urgent matters as well as the passage of important Bills was pending. However, Naidu’s plea went unheeded as AIADMK and DMK members trooped into the well with placards soon after listed papers and reports were tabled. Members of Aam Aadmi Party were also in the well carrying placards, demanding an end to the sealing drive in the national capital.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said his party was ready for a discussion on all important issues and demanded an immediate debate on imposition of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir under Article 356 of the Constitution. He also said that Congress was ready to discuss the issue of purchase of Rafale jets from French company Dassault but the government should agree for a probe into the deal by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).
This is the eighth straight sitting of Rajya Sabha this winter session that appears to be on the verge of being washed out due to a lack of understanding between a combative Congress that is demanding discussion on Rafale and the government that is willing to start the discussion immediately but still not able to pacify the opposition.