The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day Monday amid continuing protests by regional parties over various issues. It was the sixth straight day of washout of proceedings in the lower house since the second leg of the Budget Session began on March 5. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan first adjourned the House immediately after the Question Hour started as the TRS, TDP, AIADMK and YSR Congress members stormed the Well carrying placards and raised slogans in support of their demands.
There was no let up in protests as the House met again at noon but the Speaker went ahead with the proceedings, including introduction of two bills by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, amid the din.
Bhartruhari Mahtab of the BJD opposed the introduction of The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, saying its provisions violated the citizens’ fundamental rights and that it is based on the premise of “guilty till proven innocent” and not the other way round. He questioned the provision of seizing assets of an accused before he was proven guilty. However, Shukla said these provisions can be debated during the discussion on the bill and introduced the bill. Soon after this, the House was adjourned.
The Lok Sabha has been witnessing similar scenes since March 5 with opposition parties besides the TDP, which remains a member of the ruling NDA though it has pulled out of the central government, raising a host of issues such as special status for Andhra Pradesh, enhanced reservation in Telangana and constitution of the Cauvery river board to settle Tamil Nadu’s water dispute with neighbours.