With the Congress members out on a protest march and DMK MPs staging a walkout, the Lok Sabha functioned — barring a brief adjournment — on Friday. The government introduced two Bills — The Competition (Amendment) Bill, and the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (Amendment) Bill — in the lower House.
The House also discussed Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, but the debate remained inconclusive. “The deliberation on the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 is inconclusive today. We will continue it on another day,” said Bhartruhari Mahtab, who was in the Chair.
The day started on a stormy note as the Congress MPs turning up in black shirts, kurtas and bands on their sleeves, staged a noisy protest in the Lok Sabha, along with members from the DMK, NCP and Left parties, resulting in an abrupt adjournment of the proceedings.
While Congress president Sonia Gandhi was seen wearing a black blouse, Rahul Gandhi was in a black shirt, some were in black ‘kurtas’ and others had wrapped black cloth around their shoulders, besides sporting black bands.
As soon as the House met at 11am, Speaker Om Birla made obituary references for former MP Bhim Prasad Dahal. He also marked the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and paid tributes to those who lost their lives in the two Japanese cities. Immediately after the House observed a minute’s silence, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury got up to speak, but the Speaker did not allow him. The Congress, along with MPs of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), then entered the well of the House, demanding “justice”. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) members joined the noisy protests by clapping their hands.
Senior opposition leaders Dayanidhi Maran, M Kanimozhi, Supriya Sule, Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari joined the protest.
The Speaker then took up the Question Hour, but the sloganeering continued, prompting the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings till noon.
After the House was adjourned, Congress MPs led by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi took out a protest march towards Rashtrapati Bhavan, raising slogans against price rise. Some of the MPs wore garlands made of green vegetables and empty packets of dairy products outside the House. When Sonia Gandhi said she would also walk in protest to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Rahul Gandhi stopped her insisting that she should go back to Parliament House. Other MPs took out the march.
At 12 noon, DMK members present in the House asked the Speaker to allow their leader T R Baalu to speak, but the Chair took up the legislative business before allowing the Zero Hour. The Chair, however, asked Union Minister Kiren Rijiju to introduce a Bill in the House, urging the DMK members to take their seats.
Baalu was heard saying that the Opposition has been trying to raise the issue of “misuse” of the central investigating agencies against the Opposition but was not allowed. In protest, the DMK members staged a walkout.
The House also discussed the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, that seeks to establish Carbon Markets and bring large residential buildings within the fold of the Energy Conservation regime.
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Moving the Bill for consideration, Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh said that one of the provisions of the Bill is to replace fossil fuel-based input to green inputs, which are made in the country. “This will reduce our import dependence. Besides, the Bill is also aimed at establishing a Carbon market,” he said.
The Competition (Amendment) Bill, which seeks structural changes in the governing structure of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), was also introduced. Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Rao Inderjit Singh introduced the Bill, seeking substantive provisions to allow the CCI to address the needs of new-age markets.