The Lok Sabha was adjourned on Friday amid prolonged demonstration in the Well of the House MPs from Andhra Pradesh, cutting across party lines, to press for special Central assistance for the state. Both Houses were adjourned for recess and will reassemble on March 5 for the second part of Budget Session.
In Lok Sabha, protesting members first forced an adjournment some five minutes after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had taken up Question Hour. Members from Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress resumed their demonstration in the Well when the House met again at noon. This time, the proceedings lasted about 10 minutes, when papers listed for the day were laid.
More than a dozen MPs from the TDP and the YSR Congress were in the Well when the Speaker subsequently adjourned the House. The banners and placards they held afloat read: “Follow Alliance Dharma”, and “We want Justice”. The TDP is an ally of the BJP. Read: Arun Jaitley says resolution ‘in a couple of days’
TDP member Naramally Sivaprasad, representing Chittoor in Lok Sabha, presented an unusual sight, sporting a wig with long black and blue strands of hair and getting in different postures. As two party colleagues held him from either side, Sivaprasad, a well-known stage and film actor, leaned on them and seemed to be fainting one moment and was up the next.
It turned out he was putting up an act as part of their protest to demand a special package for Andhra Pradesh. The MP kept up his show outside the House, too. He removed his shirt and sat on a chair in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue. In the House, Congress members, monitored by Sonia Gandhi, took part in a parallel demonstration over the Rafale issue. They all stood up, shouting in a chorus, “Pradhan mantri jawab do.” Their placards stated: “Rafale ki keemat batao (tell us price of the Rafale deal).”
A few minutes into the slogan-shouting, Congress MPs Sushmita Deb and Ranjeet Ranjan went to the Well and some of their party colleagues walked on to the aisle.
Productivity of Lok Sabha in terms of utilisation of time was 134.61 per cent and that of Rajya Sabha was 96.31 per cent in the first half of Budget Session, according to the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry. The first phase of the session yielded a total of seven sittings of Lok Sabha and eight of Rajya Sabha.