Lok Sabha Speaker to head probe into ruckus in House

Congress, Opposition demand recall of suspension of seven members

A committee, chaired by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, will probe the incidents that took place in the House between March 2 and 5, the Lower House was informed on Friday after the Opposition demanded that the suspension of seven Congress MPs be revoked.

As the normal functioning of the Lok Sabha continued to be disrupted for the fifth day in a row over the Opposition’s insistence for an immediate discussion on the Delhi riots, Mr. Birla skipped the proceedings and the announcement was made by BJP MP Kirit Premjibhai Solanki, who was in the Chair.

Protesting against the ‘disproportionate punishment’, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said ‘a pickpocket cannot be sent to the gallows’ even as other Opposition parties joined the Congress in calling for a revocation.

Bills passed in din

In between adjournments, the government passed two Bills — the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill — amid protests by the Opposition.

Also read: RS adjourned till March 11 amid uproar | Delhi violence

Even before Parliament proceedings started, the Congress party had reached out to other Opposition parties and party MPs, including Rahul Gandhi, protested in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex, wearing black bands.

When Lok Sabha proceedings got underway at 11 a.m., some members of the Congress and other Opposition parties such as the DMK and the Indian Union Muslim League trooped into the Well of the House, seeking discussion on the riots and raising slogans demanding Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation.

Mr. Chowdhury rushed to the Well and was seen picking up the rule book of Parliament and showing it to the Chair. Though Mr. Solanki initially announced the proceedings to be adjourned until 2 p.m. he revised it to 12 noon subsequently.

Also read: ‘Government disrupting House to evade questions’, says Derek O’ Brien

At noon, amidst the noisy scenes for close to 30 minutes, the House conducted some business and passed the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill and soon after the Chair again adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

‘Respect for Chair’

Speaking on the suspension, Mr. Chowdhury said Congress members regarded the Chair as “the Pope of the Vatican” and had never disrespected it.

Speaking in Hindi and questioning the suspension, Mr. Chowdhury said Jeb katua ko phansi ke takhte pe nahi chadaya ja sakta hai [a pickpocket cannot be sent to the gallows] and demanded that the suspension be revoked.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi quickly used the statement to attack the Congress leader.

“It is strange to compare the suspended MPs with pickpockets. It is most unfortunate. We don’t agree with this,” Mr. Joshi said as he claimed the snatching of papers from the Chair had never happened in the House in its history of more than 70 years.

The Minister also cited the record of the 15th Lok Sabha [when Congress-led UPA was in power] when the then Speaker had suspended 45 MPs of the BJP.

However, Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), Dayanidhi Maran (DMK) and Supriya Sule (NCP) said the decision to suspend the seven members should be recalled as the “punishment” was “disproportionate”.

At 12:45 p.m., the Lok Sabha took up the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill. Amidst continuous protests by Congress members, the Bill was declared passed by Rajendra Agarwal, who was in the chair.

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 1:56:07 PM |

Next Story