Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla announced on Tuesday that any member from the Opposition or the treasury benches who goes to the rivals’ side to get to somebody’s seat will be suspended for the rest of the session.
“You people had decided that howsoever serious an issue may be, you would raise it only after Question Hour… The House runs with consensus and with everybody’s co-operation. If it runs with everybody’s co-operation, it functions well too. Today, we discussed two issues at the all-party meeting (in the morning). One, no member from the Opposition or the treasury benches will go to other side to sombody’s seat. If anyone does, I will suspend him for the rest of the current session,” the Speaker said.
The warning came a day after some Congress and BJP members pushed and shoved one another in the House during an altercation over the violence in Delhi.
As soon as the House assembled at 11 am, members from the Congress, DMK and other Opposition parties were on their feet, demanding a discussion on the violence in Delhi. The Speaker told the protesting members that they could flag the matter during Zero Hour.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Trinamool Congress’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Saugata Roy and the BSP’s Ritesh Pandey demanded that the Speaker admit their notices for an adjournment issue on the Delhi violence. “They are sitting like mute spectators,” DMK leader T R Baalu said, pointing at the front row of the treasury benches. He demanded a response from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present in the House.
Chowdhury said the members were representatives of people. “Do we not have the right to take up the matter when Delhi is burning?”, he asked.
Amid the uproar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the Opposition could raise the matter during Zero Hour. Emphasising that “restoration of peace and normalcy” was the top priority of the government, he said, “We are ready for a discussion. Let the Speaker decide.”
However, Opposition members insisted on an immediate discussion. As the Opposition MPs waved placards and raised slogans, Birla declared that placards would not be allowed in the House. This triggered protests from the Opposition. As the ruckus persisted, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon.
When the House re-assembled, Opposition members were back on their feet. Kirit Solanki of the BJP, who was in the Chair, appealed to members to take their seats as the House was going to take up several important issues for discussions for the welfare of SCs, STs, OBCs, senior citizens and weaker sections of the society. As the disruption continued, he adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
After the House met again, Speaker Om Birla said the discussion would take place on March 11 after Holi. The Opposition members then stormed into the Well demanding an immediate discussion. Amid the ruckus, Birla adjourned the House for the day.
Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill tabled
Amid loud protests by the Opposition, the Lok Sabha on Tuesday introduced a Bill to provide more powers to the RBI for regulating cooperative banks.
The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which comes in the backdrop of PMC Bank scam, seeks to strengthen cooperative banks by increasing professionalism, enabling access to capital, improving governance and ensuring sound banking through the RBI.
As Opposition MPs kept sloganeering, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it was the “need of the hour” to avoid a PMC Bank-like crisis in future. Noting that the happenings at the PMC Bank had put a lot of small depositors in difficulty, she said there were demands that the government should do something about it. Sitharaman said if the Opposition wanted to deny the small depositors their rights then “it is a shame”. It could not be cleared because of the ruckus in the House over the Delhi violence.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines