Rajya Sabha proceedings were a washout for the fourth day on Friday, with Congress members trooping into the well and shouting slogans. Amid the sloganeering, failed attempts by the chair to conduct business and snide remarks from the treasury benches, the main reason for the ruckus — court summons to Congress leaders in the National Herald case — was left unsaid.
Congress MPs turned a deaf ear to pleas from the chair for order and repeatedly shouted, “Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (Dictatorship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be tolerated)” and “Hitlershahi nahi chalegi (Hitler-like attitude will not be tolerated)”.
Reacting to this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukthar Abbas Naqvi said, “We are hearing voices (in the House) like those in a zoo. This is unparliamentary. We are very concerned about the Congress members. We also feel pity for them. Let the Leader of Opposition get some medicine for his party members so that their throats are cleared. Today, one week has passed. Earlier, they used to shout slogans. Now they are only saying ‘ho-ho’. We are very much concerned about their throats.”
An exasperated deputy chairman P J Kurien at one time said, “Please do not growl” as members resorted to such sounds in a bid to make speakers inaudible.
The Congress, meanwhile, decided to brazen it out. After stalling Rajya Sabha for three consecutive days over the National Herald issue, it claimed on Friday that the disruptions had nothing to do with the case.
While the party members did not allow functioning of the Upper House during morning hours, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, speaking at 3 pm, said the impression that the Congress was not allowing Parliament to function due to the National Herald issue was false. Azad said the reason the House did not function in the initial days was because of the V K Singh issue.