EVEN AS Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu held two rounds of discussions with leaders of various parties before the House met on Wednesday, sloganeering by AIADMK and DMK members paralysed proceedings for yet another day.
After repeated adjournments in the morning, Naidu named eight AIADMK and four DMK MPs under Rule 255 and ordered them to “immediately withdraw from the House” in the afternoon, but the MPs remained in the House, till it was finally adjourned for the day.
Earlier in the day, Naidu appealed to members to allow the House to function. “We have entered into a new year and are left with just four working days. After that, there may be another session — as we are all aware, before elections, the government normally just goes for a vote on account — only for a few days… Keeping that in mind, we have to understand that we have a heavy agenda before us,” he said.
Naidu also called upon Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari to come to the House and address the concerns of the AIAIDMK and DMK members regarding the Cauvery dam. But the MPs continued to protest.
When the House reassembled at noon, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said: “We have already requested the concerned minister, Nitin Gadkari, to talk to them and make a statement in the House…” But the AIADMK MPs marched to the Well, supported by DMK members who joined the protests.
As the House reassembled after lunch, Home Minister Rajnath Singh read out a statement, amid the din and protests by AIADMK and DMK MPs standing in the Well of the House, calling for ratification of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir under Article 356 of the Constitution. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, who had sought a discussion on the issue last week, rose to speak, but couldn’t do so as the protests grew louder.
Naidu later named eight AIADMK and four DMK MPs under Rule 255 and ordered them to “immediately withdraw from the House”.
The House was then adjourned for 15 minutes. However, none of the 12 MPs — AIADMK’s A Navaneethakrishnan, S Muthukaruppan, N Gokulakrishnan, A K Selvaraj, Dr R Lakshmanan, Vijila Sathyananth, S R Balasubramoniyan, A Vijayakumar and DMK’s R S Bharathi, Tiruchi Siva, Kanimozhi and T K S Elangovan — followed Naidu’s order and remained in the House till it reassembled again at 2.30 pm.
During the 15-minute break, Azad was seen talking to the agitating MPs, urging them to let the House function. Azad was heard telling Rajnath Singh that the AIADMK leaders had agreed to a “ceasefire”. However, sloganeering resumed immediately after the House met again, this time with Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh in the Chair.
With the 12 MPs refusing to budge, Singh adjourned the House till 3 pm, but nothing changed after the half-an-hour break. With the MPs unrelenting, Singh adjourned the House for the day.
Speaker suspends 26 AIADMK MPs for 5 LS sittings
New Delhi: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday suspended 26 AIADMK MPs for the next five consecutive sittings for protesting and creating ruckus continuously in the House over the Cauvery issue. Party members have been protesting against the construction of a dam on the Cauvery river, asking the central government to withdraw permission for it. AIADMK members on Wednesday protested in the well, shouting slogans. The House was adjourned when an AIADMK member stood on a chair and started waving placards. When the House met again at around 5 pm, the Speaker suspended 26 MPs. —ENS