The Lok Sabha adjourned for the day after the MPs paid homage to the members who passed away.
The Rajya Sabha had a more dramatic start on political front. The Upper house was adjourned multiple times over the Lalit Modi controversy after Opposition members moved into the Well of the House raising slogans for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s removal.
The Opposition parties, especially the Congress, refused to budge from their demand. They demand Swaraj’s resignation for helping Lalit Modi get travel documents from the British government.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley offered to discuss the issue immediately and said that Sushma Swaraj would make a statement on the issue.
“Please start a discussion immediately. You don’t want a discussion….You don’t have to press your case for a discussion. I am making an offer and would suggest … if they want to start a discussion, then start it immediately. If they want a statement from the External Affairs Minister, we are ready for it. Sushma Swaraj will make a statement within five minutes,” Jaitley appealed to the Opposition.
However, the Congress was in no mood to settle for a discussion on the floor of the house. They disrupted the proceedings demanding Sushma’s resignation. As a result the House adjourned 3 times in the pre-lunch session.
In the morning when the session began, Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma questioned the “humanitarian grounds” on which Britain was requested to issue the travel documents to Lalit Modi and demanded a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sharma also raised the issue of the affidavit signed by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje favouring Lalit Modi.
“The Prime Minister had assured to ensure transparecy, accountability in governance and acting against those indulging in corrupt practices… Where is the probity left? You have violated the dignity,” Sharma lashed out on the floor of the House.
In a press conference after the pre-lunch session, BJP accused the Congress of “running away” from a debate.
“We get a distinct and clear impression that the opposition wants disturbance, they don’t want a discussion,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
In the post lunch session, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury and Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Agrawal were allowed to speak on the issue as they had sought time for it.
“A discussion in the house is not a replacement for investigation,” said Yechury.
Agrawal said, that the “House will only function after the resignations of tainted ministers are tendered in.”
Meanwhile outside the Parliament, at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, Mahila Congress workers protested against the BJP ruled government over several issues including corruption, inflation and Land Acquisition Bill.