The Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the TDP today staged protests in the Lok Sabha demanding immediate introduction of a bill to strengthen the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and protection of Bengalis in Assam following the publication of draft NRC.
As soon as the House took up the day’s business, opposition members trooped in the Well and sought suspension of the Question Hour to discuss the issues.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said protection of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes was very important and the law regarding it must be strengthened.
Kharge claimed that 25 per cent population has become vulnerable to atrocities following the March 20 Supreme Court order related to the Act and demanded immediate introduction of an amendment bill to strengthen the law.
He also alleged that the government had failed to bring an ordinance soon after the Supreme Court order.
The Union Cabinet had yesterday given its nod to a bill to restore original provisions of the law on atrocities against Dalits and tribals.
Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy alleged that people from the Bengali community were being harassed in Assam following the publication of the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) and sought their protection.
TDP members, who too came to the Well, raised the demand of special status for Andhra Pradesh.
As Speaker Sumitra Mahajan refused to suspend the Question Hour and continued with the proceedings, the opposition members started anti-government sloganeering.
After few minutes, the Speaker requested the protesting MPs to go to their respective seats, saying she would allow all parties to speak during Zero Hour.
“I told you that I will allow you to speak after the Question Hour. I have not said no to you,” she said.
After getting an assurance from the Speaker, the MPs returned to their seats.