Rajya Sabha clears Competition Amendment Bill, protests still on

Updated - April 03, 2023 10:19 pm IST

Published - April 03, 2023 10:08 pm IST

 Congress Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Wasnik with other opposition MPs wearing black attires at Parliament premises during the second phase of the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Monday, April 3, 2023.

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Wasnik with other opposition MPs wearing black attires at Parliament premises during the second phase of the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Monday, April 3, 2023. | Photo Credit: Sanjay Sharma

The last week before the Budget session adjourns on April 6 kicked off on a stormy note, with both Houses adjourning after protests by Opposition members. The Opposition remains steadfast in its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani group and has also been protesting Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha.

While the Lok Sabha did not transact any business, the Rajya Sabha quickly passed the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2023 amid continuing protests.

Lok Sabha

Logjam continued in the Lok Sabha on Monday as the House failed to transact any significant business. Proceedings started at 11 a.m. after a four-day break with obituary references to incumbent Pune BJP MP Girish Bapat and former MP Innocent, who passed away recently. As a mark of respect, Lok Sabha was adjourned till 2 p.m.

Prior to the start of business, Congress MP Manish Tewari submitted an adjournment motion notice to discuss the disqualification of his party colleague Rahul Gandhi.

When the House reconvened, papers were laid on the table even as the Opposition continued its protest over the Adani issue. Several members of opposition parties entered the well of the House, holding placards and raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government and demanding a JPC probe into allegations against the Adani group. Amid constant sloganeering, the House was adjourned for the day.

Meanwhile, ex-Lok Sabha member and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s legal team moved an appeal in Surat Sessions Court today to stay his conviction in the defamation case, which had led to his disqualification. He was granted bail and the court also suspended sentencing till the disposal of his appeal. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on April 13.

Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha commenced its business at 11 a.m. with Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar presiding. Congress MPs Ranjeet Ranjan and Pramod Tiwari gave suspension of business notices seeking a discussion on the government’s failure to constitute a JPC to investigate the charges of fraud, corruption, and financial mismanagement levelled against the Adani Group”. Opposition members raised slogans about the same issues, as papers were laid on the table of the House.

Amid continued protests, the House was adjourned till 2 p.m. When it resumed post-lunch, Mr. Dhankhar congratulated members on the occasion of Rajya Sabha Day, which marked the day the House was constituted in 1952. He said that the Rajya Sabha should not be a theatre of disruption and disturbance.

Post this, the Rajya Sabha took up the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023, for consideration and passed it clause by clause sans any discussion, as Opposition protests continued. After quickly passing the Competition (Amendment) Bill, the Upper House adjourned.

Both Houses shall resume business at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 5.

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