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Opposition wants Modi’s assurance

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Suspension of regular business in RS sought for a discussion

There was pandemonium in the Rajya Sabha on Monday as a united Opposition pressed for the suspension of regular business for a discussion on religious conversions, and demanded an assurance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that they would not be allowed.

After the House witnessed frequent adjournments during the zero hour, and the government agreed to a discussion in the post-lunch session, the Opposition insisted that Mr. Modi be present in the House.

“You are putting condition on condition. In the morning, you wanted suspension of the agenda to discuss the issue. We agreed and now you want a condition on that condition. Some people only want to disrupt the House,” Leader of the House, Arun Jaitley, told Opposition members even as Home Minister Rajnath Singh was ready to reply and Congress and Samajwadi Party members were in the well of the House raising slogans.

Raising the matter during zero hour, Anand Sharma (Congress) said he had given notice under Rule 267 for setting aside items on the agenda to discuss the matter. Conversions were being done in an organised manner,he said, seeking an assurance from the Prime Minster that such things would not happen.Agreeing with Mr. Sharma, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said there was no meaning in a discussion unless the Prime Minister himself gave an assurance. “We are not a talking shop … we want assurance of action,” he said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Muktar Abbas Naqvi said the matter was listed for discussion on Wednesday but the government was ready for a debate any time.

Sharad Yadav (Janata Dal-United) wanted to know what the government was doing to keep its MPs in check, to which Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Vankaiah Naidu said, “in our party we decide what a member will do.”

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:27:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/opposition-stalls-rajya-sabha-on-conversion-row/article6693633.ece

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