The tempers in both the houses of Parliament intensified further heightening the impasse between the ruling benches and the Opposition. Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha witnessed noisy protest by the Opposition over multiple issues leading to adjournments. The series of adjournments has led to a very little business transacted in the Parliament, especially in Rajya Sabha.
Congress opened its day in the Upper house attacking the ruling party BJP of targeting Congress-ruled states.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised questions over Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa’s order of convening the legislative assembly on December 16 as against the state cabinet decision to begin the session on January 14, next year. The AP cabinet has already passed a resolution and sent an advice to the Governor to recall and cancel his order.
“Governor summoned assembly session without consulting the state government or the Chief Minister. Governor himself fixed the agenda and decided that the Assembly Speaker will not preside over the proceedings. This is not within the rights of the Governor,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said amid protest from the ruling MPs who disapproved the move to discuss the matters concerning state assemblies.
“Can the proceedings of an Assembly be discussed in the House? What is happening in a state Assembly, it has never been discussed in the House and should never happen,” Leader of the House and Union minister Arun Jaitley said.
“Democracy is being murdered. The same Constitution which you discussed 15 days ago is being shredded into pieces, being buried. Our party will not allow it to happen. The Opposition will not allow it,” Azad added intensifying the exchange.
The Governor had issued orders on December 9, advancing the assembly sitting after 11 BJP MLAs and two independent members served a notice of impeachment motion against the Speaker.
The Congress-ruled state government, on the other hand, have claimed that Governor’s order is in contradiction to Article 174 read with Article 163 of the Constitution of India and Rules 3 and 3A of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
The principal opposition party since Monday had been alleging the state government of “atrocities” on Dalit community. On Tuesday, their agitation evoked a sharp response from the treasury and its ally Akali Dal, which is ruling the state government.
Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia cited crime figures alleging that atrocities against Dalits was taking place in Punjab every 18 minutes and three Dalit women were raped every day. He then went on to refer the ghastly incident of chopping of limbs of two Dalit youths in Punjab last week and another incident in which a woman was allegedly run over by a bus whose owner, he alleged, was close to the ruling Badal family.
Reacting to the Congress party’s allegations, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that “Congress was misusing the Parliament to defame the state government”, while Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, also daughter-in-law of Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, accused Congress of trying to destabilise the state government and stalling development by raking up all kinds of issues in Parliament.
She also accused the Congress of politicising the issue of a “gang war” and turning it into an incident of “atrocities” against Dalits.
But the members of Congress, TMC and RJD staged a walk out from Lok Sabha even as Harsimrat Kaur Badal was putting forth defence for the state government.
Another intense protest was witnessed in the Upper House over the issue of raids carried by the CBI at the office of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar early on Tuesday.
Even as Congress MPs held firm on their protest over the issue of Arunachal Governor, members of TMC and JD (U) stood up to corner government over the issue of CBI raids.
Derek O’Brien of TMC alleged that this was an “undeclared Emergency” in the country that the office of Delhi Chief Minister was being raided. “This is not a party issue. This is about the federal structure of the country. This is a federal issue,” O’Brien said as some TMC members shouted slogans and entered the Well.
It was strongly rebutted by Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley, who said the Centre has nothing to do with CBI raids.
“The Chief Minister’s Office has not been raided. The raid has nothing to do with Arvind Kejriwal or his tenure. There is a corruption case against an officer of Delhi government. The raid is in relation to that officer,” Jaitley said.
However, that failed to assuage the protesting Opposition MPs. The Upper house which saw several adjournments was finally adjourned for the day shortly after 3 PM.
(With inputs from the PTI)