A day after the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight people including four farmers were killed on October 3, told a court that it was a planned conspiracy, the Opposition revived its demand for the sacking of Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ whose son is one of the accused in the case. The uproar and chaotic scenes in Lok Sabha Wednesday forced proceedings to be adjourned for the day.
With the Opposition up in arms and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi submitting an adjournment motion to discuss the matter, the government insisted that there was no question of discussing the issue in Parliament as the matter is “sub judice.”
After the Opposition forced adjournment of proceedings in Lok Sabha, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who is also Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha, told reporters: “It’s a baseless issue. The investigation is going on as per Supreme Court instructions and discussion on sub judice matters can’t happen as per parliamentary rules.”
He said the Opposition was not letting Parliament function. “The Opposition parties are trying to spread misinformation. Today in Rajya Sabha, a discussion on the Omicron variant was scheduled, but the Opposition… has decided not to raise any public issue,” he said.
The Lok Sabha, which had been functioning normally for the last two weeks, witnessed an uproar with the Opposition demanding the dismissal of MoS Mishra. The House adjourned at 2.10 pm without transacting any business. Question Hour was also adjourned because Opposition MPs came to the Well of the House, raising slogans seeking “justice for farmers”.
The TMC did not join the protest and its members remained on their seats.
When the House met in the morning, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and DMK’s T R Baalu asked Speaker Om Birla to allow a discussion on the matter. “The House should not set wrong practices. Question Hour should run. We can discuss it later,” Birla told them.
While the Congress wanted to take up the issue after Gandhi gave notice for an adjournment motion to discuss the issue, the Speaker said it could be taken up only during Zero Hour. MPs of Congress, DMK and Left parties stood in the Well, raised slogans and ignored the Speaker’s requests to let Question Hour function.
The Speaker took up questions and Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw began replying even as Opposition members continued the sloganeering. Proceedings were adjourned until 2 pm.
When the House met again, the Opposition continued to protest and members held placards which read ‘Modiji, Teni ko barkhast karo’ (Modiji, dismiss Teni). Requesting them to let the House function, Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the chair, said: “There is a discussion on price rise and on other topics. There is an important discussion on price rise. You have all demanded this. All the members want to discuss it.” He later adjourned the House for the day.
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