New Delhi: In the first week of the monsoon session, proceedings in both houses of Parliament were marred by uproar by the opposition over various issues including three new central agricultural laws, Pegasus espionage case and on Friday a Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member was suspended from the House for the rest of the session has been suspended.
During the entire week, only on Tuesday, the Upper House could function normally for four hours when the situation arising in the country due to Covid-19 was discussed on the basis of mutual agreement between all the parties.
On Friday, the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the whole day after one-time adjournment and the Rajya Sabha thrice adjourned due to the uproar by the opposition. The Question Hour and Zero Hour could not be held in both the houses today and the non-official business which was to be done on Friday also became a ruckus.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, expressing anguish over the continuous uproar and disruption in the Upper House, has called the incident of an opposition member snatching a copy of the statement from the hands of Information Technology and Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnav and waving pieces of it in the air. An attack on parliamentary democracy.
He said that this session has been organized amidst the horrors of the Covid pandemic and many important issues related to the public are to be discussed. He also raised many questions in front of the members and asked them to reflect on it.
The Chairman referred to the uproar in the House on Thursday and the conduct of other opposition leaders, including Trinamool Congress member Shantanu Sen, and called it indecent. The Chairman said that whatever happened yesterday definitely affected the dignity of the House. He said that such incidents affect the dignity of the world’s largest democracy.
Naidu said he has emphasized earlier also that Parliament is bigger than political institutions as it has constitutional rights. “But it seems that there is only nominal respect for the dignity of the Parliament and the Constitution. It is very unfortunate..”
The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha said that when the country is entering the 75th year of independence, at such a time, disruption in the proceedings of the House does not give a good message. He urged the members not to let the dignity of the House be tarnished. He reminded the members that they are the custodians of parliamentary democracy and they should raise the issues of their respective states and the people there. “Disruption in the House is not the way to do justice,” he said.
In the Upper House, Trinamool member Shantanu Sen was today suspended for the remaining period of the current Rajya Sabha session for his indecent conduct in the House yesterday. The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan moved a motion that was passed by voice vote.
It is worth mentioning that Sen on Thursday snatched Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnav’s statement on “Pegasus controversy”and shredded it and threw it into the air.
Members of the Trinamool Congress created a ruckus opposing the chairman’s announcement to suspend Sen for the rest of the session. Trinamool member Shukhendu Shekhar Roy said Muraleedharan suddenly moved a motion for Sen’s suspension but it was not mentioned in today’s agenda in the House. The Chairman rejected his objection. Congress member Jairam Ramesh was also speaking on this issue but he could not be heard due to the uproar.
Leader of Opposition in the Upper House today Mallikarjun Kharge sought to raise the issue of Pegasus espionage controversy and said he has given a notice regarding allegations of spying on politicians, judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, journalists and others. Presiding President Bhuvneshwar Kalita said that a statement has already been made by the government regarding this.
Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the issue has been raised, and the Information Technology and Communications Minister has replied. He said, “The country has seen how he was treated by the members of the opposition party.” During Naqvi’s speech, the opposition parties including Congress, and Trinamool Congress created a ruckus. Kalita then adjourned the proceedings of the house for the day.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla congratulated Indian sportspersons for the Olympic Games and started the Question Hour when the proceedings of the House began in the morning. Thereafter, some opposition members went near the Speaker’s podium and raised slogans. Some of the members had placards on them and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored judicial inquiry into the Pegasus case.
Amidst the uproar in the House, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav answered supplementary questions related to their respective ministries. Birla appealed to the slogan-shouting opposition members to go to their places and follow the Covid guidelines. He said, “The situation of Covid infection and vaccination is being discussed. You guys are not wearing masks. Corona infection is not over. You are the people’s representatives. If you spread the infection yourself, then what message will be sent?”
Lok Sabha Speaker said, “Follow Covid guidelines. You are raising slogans by taking off masks and showing placards which is improper behavior. Please take your seats, I will give you chance to discuss.” When the commotion did not stop, he adjourned the proceedings of the house till 12 noon at around 11.15 pm. When the proceedings of the lower house resumed, the situation remained the same. In the midst of the noise, the presiding chairman Kirit Solanki laid the necessary papers on the table.
During this, the opposition members kept raising slogans regarding their demands. Presiding Chairman Solanki urged the members to return to their places and allow the proceedings to proceed. However, the uproar of the members continued. The presiding chairman adjourned the proceedings of the house for the whole day around 12.15 pm as the situation was out of control. As Saturday and Sunday are holidays, the next sitting of both the houses will start on Monday, July 26 at 11.00 am.