The Opposition led by Congress and Left parties stalled proceedings in Rajya Sabha on Friday during Question Hour demanding immediate discussion on killings of innocent women and children in Gaza. The demand by the Opposition continues in the Upper house for last three days.
While the government said it is ready for a discussion on the issue on Monday, the Opposition wanted it to be held immediately, leading to two adjournments till noon.
Soon after the House mourned the death of 298 passengers in a Malaysian airline crash in Ukraine, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said a similar reference on the killing of innocent people in Gaza should have come from the Chair.
“United Nations has done it. We are a member of UN,” he said, adding that according to the UN, 75 per cent of those killed are civilians. 46 per cent of those killed are women and children and 12 per cent are below 5 years of age. On humanitarian grounds, a reference must be made from the Chair, he pleaded.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javedkar said, “We are ready for discussion on Monday. On Monday at 12.00 O’Clock the discussion will take place”.
This did not satisfy the Opposition benches which said the discussion could be taken up on Friday and the External Affairs Minister can reply on Monday.
Citing the unanimous resolution passed by Parliament condemning US attack on Iraq during Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Yechury said India has strategic relations with United States and yet the issue was discussed and a resolution passed.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government has agreed for a discussion on Monday and hence the Question Hour should be allowed on Friday.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said there was small gap between what the Opposition benches were demanding and what the government has agreed to. “Let us bridge this gap,” he said.
Proceedings in Rajya Sabha were disrupted on Wednesday as the opposition pressed for a debate on the Gaza. The government and opposition locked horns over the issue of discussion and cited rules and precedents in the House, while arguing for and against on whether the business once listed can be altered.
The Gaza situation rocked Rajya Sabha for the second consecutive day on Thursday with a determined opposition demanding an immediate discussion. It was finally adjourned for the day at 3 PM.
The Upper House saw three adjournments in the pre-lunch session – two during Question Hour and one in Zero hour.
Members kept citing rules to argue in favour and against the debate for almost two hours. During which the House was adjourned a number of times.
The Rajya Sabha was disrupted again on Friday as the opposition continued to create an uproar demanding a discussion on conflict in the Gaza Strip. The House was also adjourned till 2.30 P.M.