Disruptions continue to stall Rajya Sabha proceedings

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: A view of Rajya Sabha on-going proceedings during the second phase of Budget Session. PTI/RSTV

New Delhi: A view of Rajya Sabha on-going proceedings during the second phase of Budget Session.

Uproar continued to adjourn the upper house in its second week as Opposition MPs sought probe into multi-crore PNB fraud case, while NDA partners TDP, AIADMK raised the issue of special status to Andhra Pradesh and Cauvery water dispute, respectively.

However, amid disruptions, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved a statutory resolution to approve a notification of March 1 which seeks to increase the basic custom duty on chickpeas, falling under a tariff item of the Customs Tariff Act from 40 to 60 per cent.

The proceedings of the Rajya Sabha were paralyzed in the pre lunch session on Thursday amid verbal exchanges between former Union Minister YS Chowdary, and the Congress members.

Chowdary accused the erstwhile UPA government for the hasty bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 after he was allowed to make a statement on reasons for quitting the Union Cabinet.

After the House conducted formal business on Thursday, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu allowed former Minister YS Chowdary to explain to the House the reasons for resigning from the union cabinet, as per Rule 241 of the Upper House’s procedures.

According to 241 Rule, a member has to read out from the text that submitted to the Chair beforehand. As Chowdary deviated from the text and blamed the then UPA government for the unjust bifurcation of Andhra state into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the Congress members protested.

With disruptions continuing to stall the business, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House till 2PM.

As the house resumed at 2 PM, Deputy Chairman Kurien adjourned the House within five minutes after the protesting members trooped into the Well raising slogans.

Minutes after the Upper House reassembled at 3 PM, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien who was in the Chair rose to his feet and urged the opposition to take up the Finance Bill and Appropriation Bills as members from TDP, AIADMK and Congress again took to the Well.

“Please listen to my request…There is Finance Bill… Appropriation Bills…If you don’t consider (them), Rajya Sabha will beocme irrelevant. I will dispose (these) in five minutes,” Kurien urged the members.

To this, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said “No Bill can just be finished in five minutes”.

Meanwhile, former minister and TDP MP YS Chowdhary, who was earlier allowed by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to make a statement under Rule 241 on the reasons for quitting the Union Cabinet, said he wanted to complete his statement.

However, Kurien did not permit him, saying “I am not denying your right…The point is, the statement was allowed in the morning and it could not be completed…on what ground (that) I am not aware…You can request the honourable Chairman tomorrow.”

However, as the slogan-shouting continued, Kurien adjourned the House for the day, saying “I will have to adjourn the House and the responsibility of not discussing or taking up Finance Bill is on the shouting members”.

(With inputs from PTI)