Opposition protests National

Parliament stalled for fourth day in a row

A view of the Lok Sabha during the monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi on July 23, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Parliament failed to function for the fourth day in a row following protests from the Opposition parties on issues ranging from the “Pegasus” controversy to the farmers’ agitation.

In Rajya Sabha Trinamool Congress MP Shantanu Sen was suspended for the remaining part of the Monsoon Session for snatching and tearing off the statement on Pegasus which the Minister for Electronics and Information Technology (MEITy) Ashwini Vaishnaw was reading. The motion seeking his suspension was moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan and passed by a voice vote.

The Opposition parties protested against the move saying that they were not given any opportunity to respond. TMC MPs Derek O’Brien and Sukendu Sekhar Ray said that the concerned member should have been given an opportunity to speak. Mr O’Brien also pointed out that after the house adjourned on Thursday, Mr. Sen was roughed up. “We saw boorish behaviour and hooliganism in this house,” he said. In response Chairman Mr. Naidu said that this issue was not brought to his notice.

The Congress Chief Whip Jairam Ramesh meanwhile asked the Chairman Mr Naidu to allow for clarification on the statement on Pegasus made by IT Minister Mr Vaishnaw.

Mr Sen was asked to leave the house by Mr Naidu, but he continued to sit in his seat. The house was adjourned till noon. The upper house was adjourned thrice at 12 and 12:30 pm since despite multiple pleas from the Deputy Chairman, Mr Sen did not leave the house. Mr Sen in fact, remained seated inside the house even after the adjournments. His picture was circulated to all entry gates to the house with directions to the marshals that he should not be allowed inside. The convention dictates that no business can be transacted till the suspended member is removed from the house.

Earlier in the day, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah berated the house for disruptions in past three days. “The moot question is who would benefit from a dysfunctional Parliament? Certainly, not the country and it’s people,”Mr Naidu said. The only business that has been transacted in last three days he said was a debate on COVID-19.

“The proceedings of the House hit a new low with the papers being snatchhed from the Minister and torn into pieces and thrown into the air. Such actions are a clear assault on our parliamentary democracy,”he added.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned twice on Friday due to the ongoing protests by the Opposition parties on issues ranging from the “Pegasus” controversy to the farmers’ agitation.

As the proceedings began, on behalf of all the members, Speaker Om Birla wished the 127 Indian athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics success.

During the Question Hour, only a couple of queries could be taken up. Owing to the continued slogan-shouting by the Opposition members, the House was adjourned till noon. When the proceedings resumed, sloganeering started again and the Chair finally adjourned the House till Monday.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 11:54:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-stalled-for-fourth-day-in-a-row/article35490225.ece

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