Rajya Sabha proceedings were virtually paralysed again on Thursday as opposition Congress members mounted vociferous protest over suspension of 25 of their party members in Lok Sabha as the government tried to introduce a bill to amend the anti-corruption law.
The protests started from the word go as slogan-shouting Congress members trooped into the Well raising slogans against the “dictatorial” attitude of the government. This led to two adjournments in the pre-lunch session before being finally adjourned for the day a few minutes after 2 PM.
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Rajya Sabha has failed to transact any business ever since it met for the Monsoon session starting July 21. The Congress has upped its protests, boycotting the Lower House and staging dharna inside the Parliament complex since 25 of its MPs were suspended by the Speaker on Monday.
When the House reassembled at 2 PM after two adjournments, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien called Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh to move a Bill to further amend the Prevention of Corruption Act for consideration of the House.
Congress members, who were already in the Well, raised slogans that government’s “dictatorship” will not be allowed.
As the Minister spelt out the amendments proposed by the government in the Bill saying that government was “committed” to bringing more transparency, Congress as well as other opposition members raised objections.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said “when the House is not in order, no Bill can be taken up. The House is not in order.”
At this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi angrily asked “What do they want? They do not want any discussion in the House. They only want to make noise.”
Undeterred by the din, the Minister continued his speech saying the amendments proposed by the government were aimed at ensuring more accountability in governance and making bribe-giving also an offence.