Rajya Sabha adjourned as debate on riots pushed to March 11

Opposition accuses government of delaying discussion

Updated - March 04, 2020 10:25 pm IST

Published - March 04, 2020 09:48 pm IST - New Delhi

Chaos all around: Opposition members protesting in the well of Rajya Sabha on Wednesday

Chaos all around: Opposition members protesting in the well of Rajya Sabha on Wednesday

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned within minutes of convening on Wednesday as Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu pushed the debate on Delhi riots for March 11, a day after Holi. The Opposition parties accused the government of delaying the debate because of its active role in Delhi riots. They slammed the decision, saying the government had effectively reneged on its promise.

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Leader of the House Thawarchand Gehlot had on Tuesday said the government was ready for a discussion. Deputy Chairman Harivansh had also said that a time would be fixed for the debate.

Rule 267

Leader of the Opposition and Congress member Ghulam Nabi Azad, Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party leader Derek O’ Brien and Samajwadi Party floor leader Ramgopal Yadav had filed motions under Rule 267 to suspend all business to debate the riots. But Mr. Naidu refused to admit the notices.

“I will be discussing with the Leader of the House, the Leader of the Opposition and others and will decide the time and the rule under which this issue has to be taken up. We will take it up on 11th after the Holi is over peacefully,” the Chairman said, leading to vociferous protests from opposition benches. A few TMC members even trooped into the well of the House.

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Parliament will have a two-day Holi break early next week and resume functioning on March 11.

Reprimands members

Mr. Naidu adjourned the House after reprimanding the members, saying there were 16 Zero Hour mentions, including one on spread of coronavirus, but the Opposition had decided to not allow any business.

Speaking outside Parliament, Mr. Azad said, “We have told the government clearly that whenever the House functions it has to start with a debate on Delhi riots.” Mr. Derek O’Brien said Parliament was now functioning as a back office of the BJP. “This is a shame that in both Houses Mo-Sha [Modi-Shah] have given their lackeys directions that they will not have any discussion,” the TMC leader said.

Communist Party of India’s Parliamentary Party leader Binoy Viswam said the fact that Parliament was evading discussion clearly showed the BJP’s role in Delhi violence. “The UN human rights body and many countries have expressed concern on events in Delhi but the Indian Parliament has so far failed to do so. And there is no justification for this,” Mr. Viswam said.

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