Winter Session of Parliament begins on stormy note, Rajya Sabha adjourned amid ruckus
Members rushed near the Chairman's podium and indulged in slogan shouting
The Winter Session of Parliament began on a stormy note on Friday with the opposition disrupting the Rajya Sabha and forcing its adjournment repeatedly when it raked up the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing his predecessor Manmohan Singh and others of conspiring with Pakistan to defeat the BJP in Gujarat elections.
Parliament of India. Pic/AFP
There was uproar as the opposition also raised the issue of disqualification of dissident Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav and another party member Ali Anwar Ansari during the inter-session period under the anti-defection law. Rajya House saw repeated adjournments in the pre-lunch and post-lunch sittings.
In the morning, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu announced his disqualification decision soon after the House met for the day, citing defection as the ground for their disqualification. As the opposition members raised objections to it, Naidu said that there could not be any discussion on the Chair's ruling.
"We are not challenging your ruling. But the facts given as ground for disqualification are not (plausible). Sharad Yadav has not defected from the Mahagathbandhan. It is Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his companions who have deserted the Mahagathbandhan. In fact, they should be disqualified," Azad said.
The JD-U MPs loudly objected to it while the opposition members came near the Chair's podium shouting slogans. The Chair adjourned the House till 12 noon. When the House met for Question Hour, there were heated exchanges between the opposition and the government over the Prime Minister's allegations against Manmohan Singh and others.
"This is not an ordinary allegation. Questions have been raised over the integrity of a former Prime Minister, former Vice President and several retired diplomats," Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said as he demanded a discussion on the issue. However, Naidu rejected the request and asked the members to continue with Question Hour.
Members rushed near the Chairman's podium and indulged in slogan shouting, forcing the Chair to adjourn the House till 2.30 p.m. Modi had claimed that during a meeting at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's house, the guests including Manmohan Singh, discussed the Gujarat polls with Pakistan's High Commissioner to India and former Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri.
As soon as the House met after the lunch break, Samajwadi Party member Naresh Agarwal raised a Point of Order on the government giving an affidavit in the Supreme Court regarding setting up of fast track courts for trials of the elected representatives.
As Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien disallowed discussion on the topic, the opposition members created pandemonium. Kurien adjourned the House for 10 minutes but as soon as it reconvened, the opposition members came near the Chair's podium shouting slogans. Kurien then adjourned the House for the day. Amidst the din, some private members' bills were also introduced.
Earlier, Naidu congratulated Indian sportspersons, including nominated member Mary Kom, who performed well recently at international events. Prime Minister Modi also introduced the new members of his Council of Ministers to the House. The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day till Monday. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan condoled the deaths of three sitting and some other former members, including former union minister and Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.
Elections 2019: First-time voters share their thoughts