Congress MPs protest in both Houses, force adjournments

SansadTV Bureau
File Photo of Parliament Housing Building in New Delhi.

File Photo of Parliament Housing Building in New Delhi.

Congress members disrupted the proceedings in both houses of Parliament – Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha over the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat poll campaigning.

The members of principal opposition party took to the Well of the house and resorted to sloganeering demanding Modi’s apology. While Rajya Sabha saw repeated adjournments before being adjourned for the day, the Lok Sabha proceedings resumed after lunch.

In Rajya Sabha, the protest began soon after laying of the papers and reports by the ministers and members as the house met at 11:00 AM. There was hope of house resuming business after both the treasury and Congress members agreed to sort out the issue yesterday, but the latter was up on its feet once again demanding PM Modi’s apology.

The house was first adjourned till 12 noon after Congress members marched to the Well of the house. Similar chaos was seen in the upper house as it resumed proceedings at noon.

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu urged the protesting members to end their protest saying “there is no question of anyone’s apology as nothing was said in this house”. However, as the protest grew, he adjourned the house till 2:00 PM.

As the proceedings resumed post-lunch, Congress MPs were once again on their toes, though the principal opposition party seemed watering down its demand of PM Modi’s apology.

“We will not seek an apology but want Prime Minister to clarify his remarks. Would like him to tell the house if those remarks were made to win elections in Gujarat… If he says that, we will take our demand back,” leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Amid slogans of Congress MPs, union minister Vijay Goel said “Prime Minister never said anything objectionable, he never said that a conspiracy was weaved against him”.

But as the protesting members kept on their toes in the Well of the house, Rajya Sabha was adjourned till Thursday.

In the heat of campaigning in Gujarat last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had claimed that his predecessor Manmohan Singh attended a “meeting” at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house in Delhi, where some retired officials from Pakistan high commission were also present, and issues relating to Gujarat elections were allegedly discussed.