The Rajya Sabha witnessed multiple adjournments and could not transact any business after Opposition parties, led by the Trinamool Congress, tried to raise the issue. The issue figured in the Lok Sabha too, where Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that the Centre has no role in the preparation of the draft, and it was done on the Supreme Court’s directive.
The Rajya Sabha functioned for all of 14 minutes, as members demanded a discussion on the NRC. Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House four times — at 11.11 am, 12 noon, 2.01 pm and 2.13 pm. The adjournments in the afternoon happened even before members had taken their seats.
TMC members said they had given a notice for taking up a discussion on the matter. Samajwadi Party members and some Congress members also tried to raise the issue.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh was in the Rajya Sabha in the morning. Naidu said he was ready for a discussion and wanted Singh to respond. But the members were of the view that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should make a statement in the House.
When the House reconvened at 2 pm, TMC leader Derek O’Brien said the House should discuss the matter as it was a “humanitarian issue”.
“I have given notice under Rule 267. It is not a political issue. It is a question of human rights. It is a humanitarian issue. It is a national issue. We need to look after Indian citizens. Please allow me to raise this issue,” he said.
Naidu said he would allow the issue to be raised on Tuesday.
“I myself took the initiative and called the Home Minister. The Home Minister came to the House but the members were neither willing to say anything, nor allow the House to function,” he said. “We could not utilise that opportunity. I assure you, I will give the first opportunity tomorrow morning, in the beginning of the session itself.”
However, O’Brien was unrelenting and, with other TMC members joining him in raising the issue, forced Naidu to adjourn the House for the day.
In the Lok Sabha, the TMC, Congress, CPI(M) and SP criticised the Centre over the publication of the list, saying it puts “human rights and democratic rights” of people at stake.
The TMC had moved an adjournment motion in the
Lok Sabha, which was not taken up by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Asking where the 40 lakh people would go, TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay told the Centre to ensure that justice is not denied to those who have been living in Assam for decades now.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the state’s “original citizens” were being asked questions, and this was creating a division in the state, based on caste and creed.
CPI(M) leader Mohd Saleem said the situation in Assam was fragile, and “human rights and democratic rights” of the people of the state was at stake.
SP leader Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav said the move would lead to “hatred” and “violence” in Assam, and dubbed it as a “war on people” who have been living in the state for the last 40 years.