Parliament remains in logjam; Rahul Gandhi meets LS Speaker seeking permission to speak in House

March 16, 2023 08:07 pm | Updated 08:07 pm IST

Congress MPs Rahul Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury at Parliament House complex during the ongoing Budget session on March 16, 2023.

Congress MPs Rahul Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury at Parliament House complex during the ongoing Budget session on March 16, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Opposition and the government continued their protests inside Parliament over the demand for a probe into Adani group and Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in London on democracy, respectively, as Parliament continued to remain stalled on March 16 for the fourth straight day after reconvening for the second leg of the Budget session. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi said that he met with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla amid BJP protest over his remarks. He said he sought the Speaker’s permission to speak inside the House.

Lok Sabha

The logjam continued in the Lok Sabha on Thursday over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on democracy. The House began proceedings with loud protests and sloganeering by both the Opposition and Treasury Benches. Some opposition members stormed into the Well of the house, raising slogans against the government and demanding a probe into the Adani Group issue.

The Treasury Benches, meanwhile, insisted on their demand for an apology from Gandhi. Speaker Om Birla urged the members to allow the House to function, assuring them enough time to speak. However, sloganeering continued and the House was adjourned till 2 pm.

Soon after the adjournment, leaders of several Opposition parties formed a human chain inside the Parliament House complex, demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee inquiry into allegations against the Adani Group.

Meanwhile, Gandhi met Speaker Om Birla and urged him to allow him to speak in the House since his remarks had led to an uproar in Parliament. Gandhi, however, was unable to speak in the Lok Sabha as proceedings were adjourned for the day in less than a minute after reconvening at 2 pm.

“I went to the Parliament and told the Speaker that I want to speak in the Parliament. Four Ministers have made allegations against me and that’s why it’s my right. There is no clarity but I am not sure that they would allow. I am still hopeful that they would allow me tomorrow,” Gandhi said in a press conference later in the day.

Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha too transacted no business on the day amid simultaneous sloganeering by Opposition and BJP members.

As the proceedings began at 11 am, BJP members chanted slogans demanding an apology from Gandhi, while TMC MPs wore black masks to the House, protesting alleged censorship and blaming the treasury benches for stalling the house.

Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar adjourned the proceedings till 2pm. The protests, however, continued and notably, the House could not function even for a minute after it reconvened at 2 pm.

In a reply submitted in the table of the House, Law Minister Kiran Rijiju said that the Election Commission of India has taken up a proposal to amend the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 to facilitate Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS), a remote voting system for overseas electors or NRIs and the matter is under discussion to iron out the logistical challenges.

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