Political differences have taken a toll on the ongoing winter session of Parliament, which has seen several disruptions and adjournments since it began on 11 December. In the last two working days, the government and opposition parties have locked horns over the Rafale deal, the recent judgment on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and the Cauvery issue.
Appeals by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan to allow the House to function went unheeded on Tuesday, with Congress members displaying placards and trooping into the Well of the House demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal. Rajya Sabha was also adjourned for the day after members from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) shouted slogans against the construction of a dam on Cauvery river by Karnataka.
The atmosphere for debate in Parliament got muddied with Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) moving privilege motions against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, respectively, on misleading the country over the Rafale deal.
However, the government managed to carry out some legislative business amid the ruckus. Junior commerce and industry minister C.R. Chaudhury on Tuesday introduced the National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2018, in the Lok Sabha. The bill seeks to declare the various NIDs as institutions of national importance. On Monday, the Lok Sabha had managed to pass the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, with 27 amendments. The bill seeks to define transgenders and prohibit discrimination against them. The government also introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in Lok Sabha on Monday, which makes the practice of instant triple talaq a penal offence. It seeks to replace an ordinance issued in September.
Anuja and PTI contributed to this story.