Govt says ready for debate in Parliament on Delhi violence after Holi


New Delhi: A view of the Lok Sabha. (PTI photo)

New Delhi: A view of the Lok Sabha. (PTI photo)

Parliament proceedings were disrupted for the second straight day on Tuesday over Delhi riots continued to overshadow proceedings in both Houses even as the government agreed to Opposition parties’ demand for a discussion on the violence.

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha witnessed uproarious scenes as Congress and other Opposition parties demanded an immediate discussion on riots in the national capital, forcing multiple adjournments of the proceedings.

Despite Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s warning that members could be suspended from attending rest of the session in case of certain unruly behaviour, there was disruption in the afternoon as BJP and Opposition members tried to shove each other.

Opposition members, who were demanding an immediate discussion, trooped into the Well of the House after Om Birla said the discussion would take place on March 11 after Holi festival. Amid the uproar, some members were also seen banging the enclosure of Secretary General Snehlata Shrivastava, whose seat is just below the Speaker’s podium.

While not much legislative business could be taken up, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced a bill in Lok Sabha to amend banking laws to strengthen cooperative banks.

As the Upper House met at 3 pm after two adjournments, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said it would appear strange if Parliament did not discuss the incidents of violence in Delhi when the whole world was talking about the violence.

Leader of the House Thawar Chand Gehlot said the government was ready for a discussion on the issue.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh said the timing of the discussion could only be decided after consulting the Chairman. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

Amid din, the House was adjourned for the day.

In the afternoon, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury walked over to the side of the Well facing the Treasury benches, which led to a commotion between the ruling party and opposition members. Other Opposition party members too followed Chowdhury and BJP members blocked their way.

BJP MP from West Bengal Locket Chatterjee was seen having heated arguments with Chowdhury, and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tried to pacify them.

“We are working for the benefit of the country. Keeping in mind the situation in the country, celebrate Holi festival in peace and harmony, government is ready to discuss the issue after Holi on March 11,” Speaker Om Birla said.

Earlier in the day, Om Birla warned that members from Opposition and Treasury sides who cross over to the other side during the time of uproar would be suspended for the rest of the session.

The announcement came a day after some Congress and BJP members pushed and shoved each other in the House as tempers rose over the issue of violence in Delhi.

Before adjourning for the day after it met at 3 pm, there were two adjournments in Rajya Sabha as Opposition and Treasury benches indulged in a war of words over alleged hate speech by Union Minister Anurag Thakur in the run up to Delhi Assembly polls and violence in the national capital.