With no end to the government-BJP stand-off over CAG report on coal block allocation, the last week of the Monsoon session of Parliament began on Monday with a repeat of stormy scenes raising the possibility of a washout of the remaining four days.
The month-long session, which already lost the previous two weeks to BJP’s unrelenting demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, again saw uproar created by BJP members, leading to wastage of one more day of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
However, amid the din, three bills, including Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010, were passed in the Lok Sabha within minutes without any debate.
The other two legislations were the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Amendment Bill, 2011, and the National Highways Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2011.
In the Rajya Sabha, repeated attempts by the government to ensure passage of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2012, were thwarted by Left parties which insisted that these should not be cleared without a debate.
As the two Houses met for the day, it was the repeat of scenes witnessed over the last eight days with BJP members raising slogans and rushing into the Well to demand the Prime Minister’s resignation.
Slogans like “Koyle ki dalali hai, Congress sarkar kali hai (brokerage of coal has turned Congress government black)” and “Pradhan Mantri Isteefa Do (Prime Minister should quit)” rent the air leading to clashes as Congress members countered.
Some UPA members were also seen waving the ‘List of Business’ at the agitating BJP members indicating their opposition to the disruption of the proceedings.
AIADMK members in the Rajya Sabha too shouted slogans seeking resignation of the Prime Minister and targetting the government. Their party colleagues in the Lok Sabha were seen in the aisle raising some slogans.
P Lingam (CPI) was seen with a placard opposing the forthcoming visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India. In the Rajya Sabha, DMK and the Left displayed placards saying ‘Stop Training the Sri Lankan Army’
Trouble began in the Lok Sabha soon after Speaker Meira Kumar read out the obituary reference to former member Kanshiram Rana.
Amidst the din, both Houses were adjourned till noon.
When the Rajya Sabha reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed with BJP members again rushing to the well leading to adjournment of the House till 2 PM.
In the Lok Sabha, proceedings could be managed for almost 30 minutes amidst the din with the Speaker pushing the passage of the three legislations. She later adjourned the House for the day after the bills were adopted by voice vote.
But in the Rajya Sabha, plans of the government to seek passage of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill 2012 could not succeed because of Left parties’ resistance to clearing the important legislation without any discussion.
This was despite the fact that Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked BJP members to go to their seats pleading that the bill be passed as it was very important.
However, as members remained unrelenting, he adjourned the House till 2 PM. It was a similar story when the House re-assembled prompting Mr. Kurien to adjourn the House for the day.