Opposition protests today forced the adjournment of proceedings in Rajya Sabha for the day without transaction of any business as members trooped into the Well and shouted slogans, drowning every other voice.
MPs belonging to the Congress, TMC, BSP, TDP and those of Tamil parties — DMK and AIADMK, were in the Well even before Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu could settle down in his chair. Unlike past days when listed papers were allowed to be laid on the table peacefully, Naidu had to go through the exercise today amid chaos as members persisted with slogan shouting.
The Congress and the BSP led the charge against the government, accusing it of being “anti-dalit”, an apparent reference to the Supreme Court ruling on the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The main opposition party also raised the issue of India’s biggest bank fraud alongside the TMC. Tamil parties were demanding immediate constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board for division of river water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Members of the TDP and KVP Ramachandra Rao of the Congress held placards demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh. Amid the din, Naidu called the ministers to lay the listed papers on the table of the House. But some of them had to be prodded by their colleagues as they apparently couldn’t hear Naidu calling their name to lay the papers. The Chairman asked the members to at least allow papers to be laid. “Entire country is watching,” he said. “You are not going to achieve anything. You are making a mockery of parliamentary system.”
He said the Chair is ready to allow discussion on all the issues being raised by opposition parties. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said important bills are listed for discussion in the last week of the current Budget session of Parliament. The government, he said, is ready for a discussion on all issues. “I don’t understand why for small issues concerning them, they are not allowing the House to function,” he said. Naidu said the government is ready, the chair is ready and the opposition too is ready for discussion. But as the ruckus continued, he adjourned the proceedings for the day barely six minutes after the House met.