New Delhi, Aug 10
The Rajya Sabha on Monday witnessed heated arguments between opposition and treasury benches over the ongoing logjam in both houses of parliament with both sides sticking to their stands.
The Rajya Sabha, which was adjourned twice till 2 p.m., was finally adjourned for the day after an uproar in the post-lunch session.
The Congress, supported by some other opposition parties, has been demanding the resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their association with the former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi, while Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is embroiled in the Vyapam scam controversy.
When the house reassembled at 2 p.m., Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien allowed Janata Dal-United member K.C. Tyagi to raise a matter under rule 267.
Tyagi said the union government appointed Ram Nath Kovind as the Bihar governor but did not take Chief Minister Nitish Kumar into confidence.
Soon after, the Congress members again trooped into the well of the house shouting slogans against the government and displaying placards.
Amid the din, Kurien adjourned the house for the day.
When the house met in the morning, Kurien allowed papers to be tabled and then permitted Leader of the Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, to speak.
Azad accused the government of not making any attempt to end the logjam for the last three weeks.
“An impression is being created outside the house that the government has reached out to the opposition members to break the ongoing logjam, which is far from true,” Azad said.
“No one from the government has ever met any of the Congress leaders to break the logjam. In fact, we have received phone calls from the government and that too on the suspension of the 25 Congress members from the Lok Sabha and not on the stalemate in parliament,” he added.
Azad criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not taking into confidence the chief ministers of different states before taking any decision regarding these states.
Azad said that the government was making a mockery of cooperative federalism.
“When the Naga peace accord was signed, none of the chief ministers concerned were taken into confidence. Two days back, governors for Bihar and Himachal Pradesh were appointed but neither chief minister was taken into confidence,” the Congress leader said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, leader of the house, denied the opposition allegations.
Soon after Jaitley stood up to speak, Congress members trooped into the well of the house and shouted slogans against the Narendra Modi government.
Amid the din, Jaitley said: “I strongly refute the charges levelled by the leader of the opposition. We tried several times to break the logjam but the Congress has decided it will not allow the house to function.”
“Their chief ministers welcomed the Naga peace accord through their tweets that were deleted after pressure from their leadership,” he said.
After Jaitley spoke, Kurien allowed Janata Dal-United member K.C. Tyagi to speak. As he stood up, Congress members stopped shouting slogans and went back to their seats.
Jaitley objected to this behaviour of the Congress members.
“The government was not allowed to speak by the Congress members. This is the selective approach of the Congress. Is this the way to conduct the house,” the finance minister asked.
Kurien responded by saying: “Selective blocking is not acceptable. I have never seen such practice.”
Amidst heated arguments between opposition and treasury benches, Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh, J. Seelam, trooped into the well and stood in front of Jaitley.
He along with other Congress members from Andhra Pradesh was demanding a special status for the state.
Amid the din, Kurien adjourned the house till 12 noon. When the house met after the first adjournment, the scene was no different as Congress members trooped near the chairman’s podium.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Hamid Ansari then adjourned the house till 2 p.m. (IANS)