Opposition boycotts Rajya Sabha proceedings

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Opposition leaders. Photo-PTI

File photo of Opposition leaders.
Photo-PTI

A group of opposition parties led by Congress announced the boycotting the proceedings of Rajya Sabha on Tuesday afternoon, alleging that their voice was being “muzzled”. Trinamool Congress, NCP, DMK, Samajwadi Party, CPI(M), CPI and the Aam Aadmi Party were among those boycotting the proceedings.

Members of these parties stayed away from the House when the proceedings resumed at 3 PM after the adjournment post 2 PM.

“The voice of the opposition is being muzzled outside and we do not want this to happen with the opposition parties inside the House. Which is why we wanted to raise this issue since morning and which is why we have boycotted the House for the whole day,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.

Ghulam Nabi Azad and other opposition leaders were referring to the adjournment of the Upper House earlier in the day soon after the laying of papers.

The House was adjourned soon after the laying of papers as TMC members rose up taking an issue concerning West Bengal. As they continued raising the matter even after being told by Chairman Venkaiah Naidu that their notice under Rule 267 has been rejected, the house was adjourned till 2 PM.

“The framers of rules have provided that should anything of national importance happens between the previous day and this morning, we are supposed to raise that particular issue,” Azad said.

“We are not intruding into Question Hour or government business. What we want is provided in the rules. Unfortunately, for the last one week, we are not allowed to make use of rules,” he said.

Earlier at 2 PM, leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad took up the issue before Deputy Chairperson PJ Kurien. Azad was joined in by Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Agarwal and TMC’s Derek O’Brien, who sought discussion on their grievances in the stead of listed discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.

“I would request you to be in the Chairman’s Chamber. I cannot resolve (the issue) here,” said Kurien in a bid to set the proceedings in order.

As they kept expressing their dissatisfaction, the house was adjourned till 3 PM. However, Ghulam Nabi Azad at that instance announced their boycott of the proceedings for the day.

“You can raise it with the prior permission of the Chair only. You cannot change the rule. Hon’ble Chairman has exercised that rule. What can I do,” Kurien said before adjourning the proceedings till 3 PM.

(With inputs from PTI)