Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2.30 pm as Opposition parties demand discussion on Adani issue

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The Rajya Sabha was adjourned on Friday till 2.30 pm following an uproar by the opposition members demanding a discussion on the Adani issue.

Soon after the house met for the day, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar rejected the 15 adjournment notices filed by members of various opposition parties to discuss the Adani group issue in the wake of allegations made against the conglomerate by a US-based short seller.

The chairman urged members of the Rajya Sabha to maintain order and allow the listed business of the House to be taken up. But the unrelenting opposition members raised an uproar over the rejection of their adjournment notices.

Dhankhar told the protesting members that Parliament is the essence and the North Star of democracy. It is a place for discussion and deliberation to realise the aspirations and dreams of the people and not a place of disturbance, he said.

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“We are required to work in accordance with rules.” “I have received 15 notices under Rule 267 from different members… I have gone through all the notices. I am unable to accede to them as these are not fulfilling the requirements of rule 267 and are not in conformity with the direction by the chair on December 8, 2022,” the chairman said, leading to uproar from opposition members.

He told the Rajya Sabha that of the 15 notices he received for consideration under rule 267, six from Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, Syed Naseer Hussain, Pramod Tiwari, Kumar Ketkar, Amee Yajnik and Neeraj Dangi are identical.

Notices from John Brittas, A A Raheem, V Sivadasan and Tiruchi Siva are also identical. The other notices are from K Keshava Rao, Elamaram Kareem, Sanjay Singh, Santhosh Kumar P and Priyanka Chaturvedi, the chairman noted.

Later, MP Tiruchi Siva raised a point that the notice filed by him on February 2 under Rule 267 was dismissed on the ground that it was not in order. “Kindly enlighten me on the lacuna enabling me to rectify in the future,” Siva said in his point of order.

Responding to the query, the chairman said, “Members may go through rule 267 and the ruling of the chair on December 8. If there is still any doubt, kindly spare time to see me in my chamber during lunch recess. You will be feasted with food of your choice.” He said the proceedings of the House can continue only if it is in order. “If the House is not in order, the proceedings cannot continue. I have given my ruling and there shall be no further discussion. This has been the practice for long and is also codified in the rules. “If there has been a ruling of the chair, Parliamentary democracy survives on the strength of the chair. I have given my ruling and my ruling has been continuously disregarded,” the Rajya Sabha Chairman said.

Dhankhar added that he has been asked by students how his ruling was being continuously disregarded.

Soon the members raised din over the chairmans remarks, forcing the chair to say, “The House stands adjourned to meet at 2.30 pm.” Earlier, listing out the business of the house for the next week, Union Minister V Muraleedharan said the business includes discussion on the motion of thanks on the Presidents address and general discussion on the Union budget 2023-24.

Later, in a tweet, Congress leader Jariam Ramesh said, “Today too Modi Sarkar got both Houses adjourned just a few minutes after 11 am till 2:30 pm fearful of Opposition demands for a JPC on the Adani Maha MegaScam that has had patronage at the highest levels.” Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm on Friday due to protests by opposition members demanding a probe by a joint parliamentary committee into the fraud-allegation-triggered rout in Adani Group company stocks.

Adani Group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after the US short-seller Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations last week in its report, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation at the Gautam Adani-led group, which has denied the charges.  The market losses of the Adani Group have risen to nearly USD 103 billion (about Rs 8.5 lakh crore).

The rout in Adani group stocks has threatened the value of investments made by the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and public sector banks.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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