New Delhi: Congress members disrupted proceedings in the Rajya Sabha for the second day on Monday over the insinuations made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against his predecessor Manmohan Singh forcing the adjournment of the House without transacting any legislative business.
The House was first adjourned till noon barely ten minutes after it assembled for the day. As the House met at noon for Question Hour after an earlier adjournment, Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded a clarification by the prime minister on his remarks about Singh, a sitting Rajya Sabha member.
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Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu insisted on taking up a question but some Congress members were seen standing in the aisle as Sharma kept pressing his point, saying the allegations had also been made against a former vice president and also a former army chief.
Naidu persisted on continuing with the Question Hour suggesting that a separate notice be moved which he would considered. Meanwhile, several Congress members began shouting slogans. The vice president asked them to abstain from sloganeering saying the entire country was watching the proceedings.
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However, as the ruckus continued, a visibly agitated Naidu remarked “I do not want this kind of thing to be seen by the people" and adjourned the proceedings for the day as Congress members were seen walking into the Well.
Earlier, soon after the House assembled for the day, deputy chairman P.J. Kurien adjourned the proceedings till noon after Congress members stormed the Well demanding an explanation from Modi for his remarks made at an election rally alleging that Singh had colluded with Pakistan against the BJP in the Gujarat assembly poll.
Sharma and others gave notice under rule 267 seeking setting aside of the business of the day to take up the issue, but the Chair disallowed all the notices.
Leader of the opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said it was not acceptable that every notice was being rejected. Charges have been levelled against the former prime minister who is a member of Rajya Sabha, he said angrily and demanded that a motion be allowed to moved to get a sense of the House on the issue.
“Let charges be proved," he said. “The voice of the opposition cannot be muzzled. The House has to function according to conventions." Azad demanded that prime minister should come to the House and explain his remarks.
Kurien said no motion can be allowed and if the opposition were to resort to disruptions, he would be left with no option but to adjourn the proceedings. Sharma said neither the prime minister, nor any minister was beyond questioning. It is unacceptable that the prime minister makes insulations against former prime minister, former vice president and former Indian high commissioner.
“Prime Minister has to clarify," he said, adding that the issue at hand was about respecting the institutions and privileges. With Kurien disallowing the notices, Congress members trooped into the Well of the House, raising slogans against the prime minister.
Kurien said the Congress members could convert their 267 notice into Zero Hour notices and they can be allowed to speak for 3 minutes upon acceptance of such notice. He went on to call the listed Zero Hour submissions to be made but Congress members were unrelenting, forcing Kurien to adjourn the proceedings till 1200 hours.