BJP and Congress members shoved and pushed each other in Lok Sabha Monday, the opening day of the second leg of the Budget session, as Opposition parties, protesting the communal violence in Delhi, united in both Houses of Parliament to demand the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The uproar paralysed proceedings and both Houses were adjourned for the day.
Protesting in separate groups outside Parliament, Opposition parties united inside the two Houses to mount a concerted attack on the BJP. In Lok Sabha, MPs belonging to the Congress, DMK, Left parties, Shiv Sena, NCP, SP, BSP, NC and TMC rose as one to shout slogans against Shah.
While TMC members refrained from entering the Well of the House, others trooped in with Congress members holding banners saying “Shah Must Resign”. TMC members led by Kalyan Banerjee and Mohua Moitra shouted “Amit Shah Murdabad” while SP leader Akhilesh Yadav held a placard saying “Bhajpa sarkar, dangon ka sarkar”.
In the morning, proceedings in Lok Sabha had been adjourned until 2 pm after a obituary reference to a sitting MP from Bihar who had passed away.
Shah was not present in the House during the pandemonium. Nor was Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh came, but had to go back after the House was adjourned.
Amid the din, two Bills — The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill and Mineral Laws Amendment Bill — were introduced.
In Rajya Sabha, the AAP, Congress and SP came to the Well, shouting slogans against BJP, Shah and the Prime Minister. While proceedings on the Central Sanskrit University Bill were underway — the discussion continued for almost 30 minutes — Congress member B K Hariprasad raised the slogan “tadipaar pe halla bol”. Deputy Chairman Harivansh Rai adjourned the House for the day.
In Lok Sabha, TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee came to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and was heard saying “no compromise”.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi condemned the “unruly behaviour” of the Opposition and urged Speaker Om Birla to continue with the House business. Targeting Congress members, Joshi said “these are the people” who provoked the riots. “They murdered 3,000 people in 1984 (ant-Sikh riots) and did no investigation. The priority is to restore peace… but they want to create tension,” he said.
Congress members Benny Behanan, Hibi Eden and Ravneet Singh Bittu took a black banner to the treasury benches where BJP’s Sanjay Jaiswal was speaking on Vivaad Se Vishwas Bill. When they tried to hold the banner in front of him to catch the attention of Lok Sabha TV, BJP members, including Ramesh Bidhuri and Nishikant Dubey, asked them to return to the Well.
This led to pushing and jostling. There was much acrimony even after the proceedings were adjourned. The House met after an hour but was adjourned again. “You have blood on your hands… you are ruining this country,” TMC MP Mohua Moitra was heard shouting at BJP MPs.
By then, the BJP members got together and shouted “Amit Shah, aage bado, hum tumhare saath hain” (Amit Shah, march forward, we are behind you) and “Desh ki raksha kaun karenge, hum karenge” (Who will protect the nation, we will). They were also heard shouting “Mahatma Gandhi amar rahe, nakli Gandhi jail kare” (Long live Mahatma Gandhi, fake Gandhi should go to jail)
Visibly upset, the Speaker came to the house at 4.30 pm and adjourned proceedings for the day, saying he would run the House only after leaders agree to run it with decorum.
Meanwhile, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: “Our protest will continue. It is our duty to uncover who makes hate speeches, who indulges in killings and what is the conspiracy behind the violence.” He said there should be a discussion on the Delhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah should participate in it.
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