Parliament on Tuesday saw the first disruption-induced adjournment since the new Narendra Modi government was formed in May, with the Rajya Sabha having a washed out day as members of Opposition stormed the well of the House over different issues.
The Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka is in danger of falling after the resignations of 15 MLAs-12 from Congress and 3 from the JD(S) – and the withdrawal of support by an independent MLA.
While the Congress MPs in the House were crying foul over the series of resignations of its MLAs in Karnataka, blaming the BJP for it, members of the TMC were protesting against the proposed disinvestment of 42 Public Sector Units (PSUs) by the Union government.
The first session, which started at 11 am, lasted all of six minutes as several members of the Congress and the TMC came down to the well of the House, shouting either about the political crisis in Karnataka or about disinvestment.
The Opposition members had given Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu notices to suspend the Question Hour to discuss Karnataka and the disinvestment of 42 PSUs. Even as the members were shouting slogans in the well, Naidu refused the requests from B K Hariprasad of the Congress and Dola Sen of the TMC. The Chairman said he would allow discussions on the situation in Karnataka during the Zero Hour. However, the TMC’s request Naidu rejected it outright. He said, “The same issue was discussed on the very first day of this session (on June 21)… As per the rules, you cannot discuss the same issue twice in the same session, and, that is why, I have not allowed it.”
The Chairman reminded the members of the House that discussion on the Budget was supposed to commence on Tuesday. Amid the din, he told the members in the well, “It seems that you have decided not to allow the House to function.”
He said that for 13 days, the House has functioned “very effectively” and that people were “happy” and were “appreciating” the work done by the Upper House. However, the Opposition members weren’t convinced and continued their protests, leading Naidu to adjourn the House for an hour.
The same scene was repeated twice. As the House resumed at noon, Deputy Chairman Harivansh took the Chair but was no more successful than Naidu in convincing Congress and TMC leaders to relent and go back to their seats. A member of the Congress shouted that “democracy is in danger”, but nobody acceded to the request, and Harivansh adjourned the House till 2 pm.
Again at 2 pm, as the discussion on the Budget was to start, members of the Congress and TMC disrupted proceedings and the Deputy Chairman adjourned the House for the day.
Talking to journalists, Hariprasad alleged, “This is the sixth time the BJP is trying to destabilise the current government (in Karnataka)… We are going to fight against Modi-Shah’s plan to pull down the Karnataka government,” he said.
He also claimed that the MLAs who resigned had been “forced” under the pressure of CBI and Enforcement Directorate.
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