Uproar in RS again; Both BJP, Cong issue whip to MPs

RSTV Bureau

Rajya-Sabha-protest-aug-6-aThe Upper House again saw disruptions in its proceedings and the House was forced to adjourn for the day post lunch, just after 2.30 pm on Friday. Earlier in the day, the House was adjourned twice in the pre-lunch session.

The Opposition led by the Congress continued to shout slogans in the Well of the House which led to the adjournments.

Both the BJP and the Congress issued a whip to its MPs, late on Thursday evening to be present in the Upper House in full strength on Friday. The whip was issued as tension mounted over the contentious issues – suspension of 25 Congress MPs in Lok Sabha, Vyapam scam and Lalit Modi row.

A three-line whip was issued by the Congress asking all its MPs to be present in Rajya Sabha amidst a view within the party that the government may try to slip through some legislative measures.

“We have issued a whip and asked all the members to be present tomorrow. There is already a clash between the government and the opposition; we want to be in our full strength even on Friday, which is normally a day for Private Member Bills,” said Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Congress’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha.

Anand Sharma, the Deputy leader of Congress in the House, has said the whip has been issues as a precaution since BJP in the past has slipped through certain legislative business in the other House, bypassing the Business Advisory Committee.

Congress sources said that the whip was to ensure that the government did not succeed in passing the certain bills when the opposition members were absent.

Several key legislations including GST, which is a Constitution-amendment Bill, are held up because of the current deadlock.

Meanwhile, the BJP also issued a whip to its members to be present in the House.

On Thursday, about 30 MPs from the ruling coalition NDA met Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari and demanded strict action against Congress MPs who were causing disruptions.

The Upper House has failed to transact any significant business so far in the Monsoon Session since it began on July 21. Since the beginning of the session, the Opposition led by the Congress has been protesting against the involvement of BJP leaders in the Lalit Modi controversy and the Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh. Congress continues to demand the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for aiding former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi. They also demand MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s resignation for his alleged involvement in the Vyapam scam.

4 days ago, on Monday, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 Congress MPs under rule 374 A for waving placards and causing “grave disorder” in the House.

(With inputs from PTI)