Parliament session National

Opposition to move to Jantar Mantar

Opposition members protest in the Lok Sabha on August 5, 2021. Photo: LSTV via PTI  

With proceedings in both Houses of Parliament remaining stalled for the third week of the monsoon session over the Pegasus spyware snooping controversy and the farm laws, Opposition members on Friday are likely to hold a symbolic protest at Jantar Mantar to express solidarity with protesting farmers.

Since the start of the Parliament session, a section of farmer leaders have been protesting at Jantar Mantar to demand the repeal of the three controversial farm laws.

The modalities are likely to be worked out at the routine floor coordination meeting of Opposition leaders on Friday morning but former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is expected join the protests.

“All of us, including Rahul-ji will go to Jantar Mantar and reiterate our stand that the farm laws are ‘black laws’ and need to be withdrawn,” a senior Congress leader from the Lok Sabha said, adding that the Pegasus snooping controversy continues to be the “number one issue”.

On Thursday too, the Lok Sabha witnessed multiple adjournments over the Pegasus snooping and the farm laws, even as the government introduced two key Bills: the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Bills were being passed in the House without a debate with an average time of seven minutes spent on a Bill, and objected to supplementary list of business being circulated at the last minute.

The day’s proceedings started at 11 a.m. with Speaker Om Birla congratulating the Indian hockey team for its Olympic bronze medal after 41 years, as well as the women players who won medals in individual events.

However, protests and sloganeering started the moment the Question Hour was taken up by the Speaker, with many members trooping into the Well of the House.

“This is not appropriate for Parliament traditions,” Mr. Birla said as the protests continued. He pointed out that crores of rupees were being spent to run Parliament and people were asking why the House was not functioning.

As the protests did not stop, he adjourned the House until noon; three more adjournments took place after this.

In between the interruptions, Mr. Chowdhury tried to raise the issue of the alleged rape and murder of a nine-year Dalit girl but was quickly rebutted by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Meghwal, who wondered why Congress leader Rahul Gandhi never raised his voice against such incidents in Congress-ruled Rajasthan.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:07:38 PM |

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