The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on Monday following uproar by Opposition parties over the violence in the national capital, with members accusing the government of sleeping while Delhi burnt.
As the Upper House re-assembled at 2 pm after an adjournment earlier in the day, Opposition MPs including those belonging to the Congress, AAP, Left, TMC, SP, BSP and DMK were up on their feet shouting slogans and accusing the government of failing in its duty.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was conducting proceedings, made repeated appeals to protesting members standing in the Well to return to their seats so that the House could function normally.
He also urged three members sporting black blindfolds to remove them, saying these were against the decorum of the House.
However, the members were unrelenting and protests continued.
The violence in Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar, Bhajan Pura, Yamuna Vihar and Mustafabad areas of northeast Delhi has left at least 42 dead and over 200 injured.
Amid the sloganeering and protests, Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ introduced a bill which seeks to convert three deemed-to-be Sanskrit universities into Central Sanskrit Universities.
The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019 was passed by Lok Sabha in December last year.
Pokhriyal moved that the Bill to establish and incorporate universities for teaching and research in Sanskrit, to develop all-inclusive Sanskrit promotional activities and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto, as passed by Lok Sabha, be taken into consideration.
As opposition members kept protesting and raising slogans, the Minister spoke about the importance of the Sanskrit language.
As per the proposed legislation, Sanskrit Central Universities will be set up by converting three deemed Sanskrit universities, presently functioning in the country.
The three deemed universities are Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in New Delhi, and the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Tirupati.
Earlier in the day, proceedings of the House were adjourned till 2 pm after the entire opposition protested over the issue of communal violence, with members alleging that the government slept while Delhi burnt.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the issue was definitely important but the priority should be to restore normalcy and then discuss ways and means of preventing it.
When his appeals to members to resume their places went unheeded, he adjourned proceedings till 2 pm.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad charged that the Central government “slept” when violence rocked Delhi for three days.
Earlier, when the House met it mourned the death of former member AV Swamy, followed by Chairman Naidu reading out a record of department-related standing committees that considered demands for grants for 24 departments.
He said the proceedings of the House during the first half of the current Budget session were “largely purposeful” with 96 per cent sitting.
The House in the second half, that began Monday after a three week break, would be more meaningful, he hoped.
Chairman Naidu said he has received notices from members of opposition parties seeking adjournment of proceedings to discuss the present situation in Delhi and other parts of the country.
“The matter is definitely important and deserves to be discussed,” he said, adding he will admit a discussion and allot time after discussing with the minister concerned as well as the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition.
“Our priority should be restoring normalcy. We should see that normalcy is restored and then we can discuss ways and means of preventing it (such violence),” he said, adding he wanted the House to send out a message in one voice on the issue.
Let peace be restored, he said.
(With inputs from news agency)