Acrimonious scenes were witnessed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday as agitated members of the Trinamool Congress, protesting alleged misuse of the CBI, and the treasury benches clashed when the Motion of Thanks on President’s address was taken up for discussion.
Principal opposition Congress too staged a walk out saying its members should have been the first ones to speak but were being denied a chance. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan told Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, that he wasn’t present in the House when his name was called.
As BJP MP Humkmdev Narayan Yadav initiated the discussion, most the TMC members trooped into the Well and started shouting slogans.
Despite requests from the Speaker, they continued with their protest on the issue of CBI trying to question the Kolkata police chief in connection with the chit fund scam cases.
When Yadav alleged that “corrupt and anti-social elements” were grouping together against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, most of the opposition members stood up and urged the Speaker to expunge the statement.
As the verbal duel continued, Aparupa Poddar (TMC) and Veena Devi (LJP) made threatening gestures at each other. The situation was salvaged by senior members of the House.
A visibly upset Speaker then asked the members to maintain decorum and adjourned the house for 10 minutes till 2.30 pm.
When the House reassembled, Yadav praised the various initiatives of the government for uplift of the poor, downtrodden and marginalised.
Invoking Mahabharata, he said that the 2019 general elections will be “a battle between right and wrong”.
He urged the people to stop following their caste leader and not to be swayed away by them and instead vote for the BJP as it is working for social equality.
He also said it is only the BJP government which had the courage to bring in 10 per cent quota for general category, without disturbing the overall reservation limit.
Speaking during the discussion, Jagdambika Pal (BJP) praised the steps taken by the government for farmers and cited the recent income support scheme for small and marginal farmers.
When the Speaker called Kharge to speak, the Congress leader said as there was no order in the House, the discussion should be postponed to Wednesday.
To this, the Speaker asked as to what was the guarantee that the House would run smoothly on Wednesday.
Kharge replied that how can opposition remain quiet when the “government is making so many mistakes”.
TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay too demanded that the discussion be postponed to Wednesday and assured that his party will cooperate.
From the government side, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that those who want to speak on Wednesday should be given time, but those who want to participate in the discussion today should be allowed to speak.
This was followed by slogan shouting by opposition members prompting the Speaker to adjourn the House for half an hour till 4 pm.
After the House resumed, TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay demanded a statement from the prime minister over the CBI issue.
Talking about the agrarian distress, Bhartuhari Mahtab (BJD) said the present method of calculating input cost is faulty and that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be rectified.
He welcomed the government’s scheme announced in the budget to give Rs 6,000 every year to farmers who own land below two hectares.
Terming the president’s address as ‘lacklustre’, P Venugopal (AIADMK) said the Centre was giving step-motherly treatment to some states.
Madhukar Kukde (NCP) raised the issue of fringe group members firing at an effigy of Mahatma Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh.
He also accused the BJP of not fulfilling the promise of carving out a separate Vidarbha state.
Kikde said his party would support a legislation on construction of Ram Temple if the government came up with one.
Earlier, the House was adjourned thrice as belligerent TMC members engaged in sloganeering against the government over the standoff between the CBI and the Kolkata Police.
The Question Hour was washed out and the proceedings were adjourned till noon. The House was again adjourned till 2 pm after the papers were laid and members raised various issues during the Zero Hour which went on till around 12.30 pm.
The noisy protests continued as the House met again and the Speaker then adjourned it briefly till 2.30 pm.