Congress-led Opposition on Thursday created ruckus in Rajya Sabha over a discussion on violence in Gaza not being listed in the day’s agenda, leading to two adjournments during the Question Hour.
As soon as the House met for the day, Chairman Hamid Ansari said though the matter was included in Wednesday’s agenda, it has not been done so on Thursday following a request from Leader of the House Arun Jaitley that the issue “may not be taken up on July 17 and that the Government will communicate an appropriate date for the same soon.”
This infuriated members of Congress and other parties in the Opposition. Quoting rules, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma insisted that once a matter has been included in the list of business, it becomes the property of the House and must be listed the very next day.
Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) also supported Mr. Sharma saying dropping the issue from the agenda would amount to violation of the Constitution.
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Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said many Indians earn their livelihood in West Asia and thus, the matter concerned many people here. Members also wanted to know why the discussion on the issue was being delayed, particularly after the violence was condemned by BRICS leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The issue was raised as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday sent a letter to the Chairman requesting him to withdraw the issue from the day’s agenda.
In his ruling, Mr. Ansari said he was “unable to accede to the request” of Ms. Swaraj that the demand for discussion is inadmissible as he did not find any “infirmity in the notice given by” Leader of the Opposition and others. Amid din, Mr. Ansari adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
When the House reassembled, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad urged the Chair to suspend the Question Hour and take up a discussion on the issue.
V. Maitreyan (AIADMK) stood up and demanded that the Question Hour be taken up, much to the anger of Congress and other parties. Amid uproar, Mr. Ansari adjourned the House till noon.