Parliament stalls as Opposition wants Amit Shah out

Congress, BJP MPs get into scuffle in Lok Sabha

March 02, 2020 10:20 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 06:55 am IST - NEW DELHI

In the line of fire: Home Minister Amit Shah arriving to attend the Parliament session on Monday.

In the line of fire: Home Minister Amit Shah arriving to attend the Parliament session on Monday.

The Lok Sabha on Monday witnessed unruly scenes as MPs of the Congress and ruling BJP pushed and shoved each other over the Opposition’s insistence that Home Minister Amit Shah should resign, taking responsibility for last week’s riots in Delhi .

 

Expressing his anguish over the ruckus that forced four adjournments, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla finally adjourned the House until Tuesday.

Rajya Sabha, too, witnessed multiple adjournments over the riots after the Opposition’s demand for an ‘immediate discussion’ was not accepted by the Chair even though Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu had assured a debate would be held on a later date.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the government of sleeping when Delhi was burning for days.

Centre seeks suspension

Blaming the Opposition for disruptions and resorting to tactics such as bringing posters and tearing paper inside Lok Sabha, government sources said the Centre will move a resolution seeking suspension of ‘unruly’ Congress MPs including Gaurav Gogoi, Ravneet Singh Bittu, and Hibi Eden.

Countering the allegations, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused the government of tearing democracy to shreds and said a ruling party MP had assaulted Congress MP fro Kerala Ramya Haridas on the floor of the House.

 

"I am personally pained at the developments in the House. You are not pained. I do not want to run proceedings under such circumstances.... Everybody should deliberate to ensure that the dignity of the House is maintained,” Speaker Birla told members before adjourning the House for the day.

When Lok Sabha met at 2 p.m. after the first half of the proceedings were adjourned to mourn the death of sitting member Baidyanath Prasad Mahto of the JD(U), Opposition members trooped into the Well of the House and started shouting slogans against the government.

Display black banner

As the Speaker took up the listed business, the Congress MPs walked across to the Treasury side, holding up a black banner calling for Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation.

An angry Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi attacked the Congress and said they were now talking about Delhi riots when 3,000 people were killed in Delhi in 1984 [anti-Sikh riots] under its watch.

 

Amid slogans of ‘Amit Shah murdabad’ (Down with Amit Shah), when the Speaker initiated discussions on the tax settlement bill, Congress MPs Gaurav Gogoi and Ravneet Singh Bittu holding the black banner went to the Treasury benches where BJP's Sanjay Jaiswal was speaking on the ‘Vivaad Se Vishwas' Bill.

BJP members, including Ramesh Bidhuri and Nishikant Dubey, then rushed to the Well and in the melee, some Congress MPs tore papers and tossed them in the air. Members from both sides then began pushing and shoving each till the proceedings were adjourned till 3 p.m.

While Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Smriti Irani were seen trying to pacify the agitated members, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi were present in the House during the uproar.

Govt. ‘asleep’

The Rajya Sabha too saw adjournments as the Opposition parties demanded an immediate discussion on the Delhi riots as soon as the session was convened. Opposition MPs from Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazgham and the Left parties were up on their feet, shouting slogans.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad charged that the Centre ‘slept’ when violence rocked Delhi for three days, members shouted like 'Delhi is Burning' while three TMC members sported black bands on their eyes, which they removed after being told by Mr Naidu.

“The matter is definitely important and deserves to be discussed,” Mr Naidu said, adding he will admit a discussion and allot time after discussing with the Minister concerned as well as the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition.

“Our priority should be restoring normalcy. We should see that normalcy is restored and then we can discuss ways and means of preventing it (such violence),” he added as he asked the House to send out a message in one voice on the issue.

Earlier, Congress MPs including Rahul Gandhi had protested in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue against the Home Ministry and Delhi Police for its inaction in controlling the riots.

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