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Audio feed in Rajya Sabha was hit for 20 minutes during debate on farm Bills, says CPWD

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh conducts proceedings as ruckus erupts in the upper House during the ongoing monsoon session, in New Delhi on September 20, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) on Sunday clarified that the audio feed in Parliament was disrupted for nearly 20 minutes when the three contentious Agricultural Bills were debated in the Rajya Sabha on September 20 during the monsoon session of Parliament.

The three Bills were passed amid din, with the entire Opposition up on its feet. Eight members were suspended following the pandemonium in the Upper House. The members also sat on a nightlong dharna.

The CPWD put out the clarification, which it had also provided in an answer to an RTI application.

Also read | Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman refutes media reports, says farm bills were passed as per procedure

“CPWD, which maintains the facility, clarifies that the feed was disrupted between 13:05 Hrs to 13:35 Hrs on 20 Sept, 2020 due to the damages caused to the microphones (mics) at the Chairman’s seat by some of the Hon’ble MPs,” the department tweeted.

It laid the blame on Opposition members, some of whom pulled out the microphone at the Chairman’s table. At that time, Deputy Chairman Harivansh was in the chair.

“As directed by the chair, no other MIC was ON at that very time except that of Hon’ble Chairman. So when these MICS were broken, there was no audio output from the system to RSTV. It took nearly half an hour to restore this after following necessary protocols,” the CPWD said in another tweet.

Also read | Parliament proceedings | Protesting Rajya Sabha MPs rebuff Harivansh’s ‘tea-plomacy’

The disruption of the audio feed for Rajya Sabha TV also meant that many of the MPs who were sitting in the Lok Sabha chamber as part of COVID-19 protocol could not hear the proceedings or participate in the debate.

Lakhs of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other States have camped around Delhi in the last few days, demanding an immediate withdrawal of the three laws that end government-run markets and seek to commercialise agriculture.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 3:08:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/audio-feed-in-rs-was-hit-for-20-minutes-during-debate-on-farm-bills-says-cpwd/article33211223.ece

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