Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day as opposition protests continue

PTI

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu during the session (RSTV Grab)

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu during the session (RSTV Grab)

Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day on Thursday amid protests and unrelenting sloganeering by opposition members including those from the Congress over the Delhi violence.

With the protests continuing, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said, “This is Parliament, not a bazaar.”

The House proceedings have been disrupted by opposition members during the second leg of the Budget Session.

Before the adjournment of the House, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan made a statement on the coronavirus situation in the country and members including those from the opposition made constructive suggestions.

However, no sooner Chairman Naidu asked MPs to start with their Zero Hour mentions, Congress members were up on their feet and joined by other opposition members.

Later, opposition MPs including from the Congress, TMC, and AAP entered the Well of the House and started raising slogans against the government and the Home Minister over the communal violence in Delhi which has led to the death of several people.

The Chairman also warned that if a member whose Zero Hour notice has been accepted and does not raise it despite being present in the House, he or she will not be given another chance during the remaining period of the current session.

At around 1200 hrs, Chairman Naidu asked protesting members to return to their seats so that the Question Hour could be taken up.

But, the opposition parties did not yield, and the Chairman adjourned proceedings for the day.

Earlier when the House met for the day, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said Congress and other opposition parties had previously decided that business in the House will be allowed only after a discussion on communal violence in Delhi.

But in view of the situation arising out of the outbreak of coronavirus, opposition parties don’t want to deprive the countrymen of steps the government is taking to deal with the situation, he said, adding the opposition has decided to allow the Health Minister to make a statement on the issue.

But no other business will be allowed till a discussion on Delhi violence is held on March 11, he said.

Chairman Naidu, however, said he did not agree with the proposition. The House, he said, cannot be run on conditions.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan said a discussion on Delhi violence is scheduled in Lok Sabha on March 11 and on March 12 in Rajya Sabha.

After this, Health Minister Vardhan made a 9-page statement on coronavirus.

The Chairman also asked ministers concerned to take note of suggestions made by MPs on steps required to deal with the coronavirus impact.

(PTI)