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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Forty Years Ago, November 18, 1980: Stormy session

Opposition members in the Lok Sabha marched out after the Speaker refused to admit adjournment motions on rising prices and communal riots and, instead, admitted adjournment on the recent railway accidents.

By: Express News Service | November 18, 2020 12:34:51 am
The Indian Express, November 18, 1980, forty years ago.

The winter session of Parliament got off to a stormy start with Opposition walkouts in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Opposition members in the Lok Sabha marched out after the Speaker refused to admit adjournment motions on rising prices and communal riots and, instead, admitted adjournment on the recent railway accidents. The Rajya Sabha Opposition registered its protest against the promulgation of several ordinances shortly before the Parliament session. Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar was put in a quandary as events unfolded. He had admitted an adjournment motion on train accidents unmindful of the united voice of the Opposition. When the Speaker remained adamant, some Opposition members alleged that political considerations had influenced his decision. Jyotirmoy Basu (CPM) alleged the decisions were taken in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. This Jakhar hotly denied.

Request to Reddy

The six-party left and democratic front and the Bharatiya Janata Party separately met President N Sanjiva Reddy to protest increasing assaults on parliamentary democracy by the ruling party. While the six-party front presented a memorandum to the President expressing “shock” at the moves to bring about changes to the Constitution so that parliamentary democracy was replaced by a presidential form of government, the four BJP leaders in two Houses of Parliament urged the president to use his moral authority to prevent assaults on democracy.

Lucknow curfew

Indefinite curfew was imposed in the Chowk area in old Lucknow after the police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse a group of Shia community members who wanted to take out the “Alam” procession in defiance of the prohibitory orders now in force here. More than 100 persons have been arrested.

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