The Monsoon session Monday began on a stormy note with the Opposition targeting the Government on a variety of issues. Despite holding a meeting Sunday to coordinate their floor strategy, the Opposition parties sought suspension of business to take up discussion on different subjects, signalling a lack of coordination.
In the Rajya Sabha, there was barely any transaction of business as the House was adjourned multiple times due to slogan shouting. Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not introduce his newly inducted ministers, prompting him to attack the Opposition, saying some people have an anti-woman mindset and do not want to honour people from SC and ST communities who have become ministers. He said people from rural India have also taken oath as ministers which has pained some people.
Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma had given a notice demanding discussion on the “situation arising out of the unprecedented rise in the prices of essential commodities.” On the other hand, AAP’s Sanjay Singh and CPI’s Binoy Viswam gave notices to discuss the Pegasus espionage expose. DMK’s Tiruchi Siva wanted a discussion on the Mekedatu dam row. RJD’s Manoj Jha had given a notice seeking a discussion on “obfuscation of data related to deaths on account of the second wave of Covid 19”. The Trinamool Congress said its members had given multiple notices seeking discussion on fuel price hike, farmers’ agitation, decline in economic growth, weakening of federal structure and Covid/vaccination solutions.
Rejecting the notices, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said “the Secretariat has received as many as 17 notices for suspension of rules under Rule 267. Members from 10 different parties have given me notices on the wide range of issues. Members belonging to the same party have given these notices on different issues. This suggests that there is no single view on the urgency of issues for me to take up suspension of rules.”
“Some of them are definitely important. They are undoubtedly important. You cannot discuss 17 issues simultaneously,” he said. “The issues raised are not of sudden occurrences that warrant immediate discussion in the House today itself.” He then adjourned the House till 2 pm.
The Opposition continued to demand a discussion on the issue of price rise of various commodities in the country in the afternoon session as well. Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge tried to raise the topic at 3 pm. “Unfortunately, I am not getting time to place my subject before you and the House,” he said, adding that he had given a notice “under Rule 267 for suspending the rules”. “We want the House to discuss the situation arising out of unprecedented rise in prices of essential commodities”.
But he was disallowed by Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh. He said that the Chairman had already given a decision on the topic earlier in the day. “We cannot review the Chairman’s decision,” he said.
Coming to Kharge’s support, Deputy Leader of Opposition Anand Sharma said that “the Leader of Opposition has the right to raise the subject again,” but Harivansh said that Kharge can speak about any other subject but cannot raise the issue of Rule 267, as Naidu had already clarified about it in the morning.
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