Chaos in Parliament again: Pegasus row, farm laws leave govt on backfoot

The protesting lawmakers want a SC-monitored inquiry into the snooping scandal and the three farm laws withdrawn

Rajya Sabha
Both Houses were adjourned on Monday amid din.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is also the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing committee on Information Technology (IT), on Monday (July 26) hinted that opposition parties may not allow the Parliament to function if the Centre does not allow a Supreme Court judge-monitored investigation into the Pegasus snooping scandal.

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned several times during the day following din over several issues. Speaking to media persons later, Tharoor said, “We want the government to agree to a debate on the issue (Pegasus), but it is not ready. What we are saying is that if you (government) do not agree to this and answer our questions, then why we should allow you to transact your business.”

Several opposition members displayed placards and raised slogans demanding inquiry into the Pegasus row and abolition of three controversial farm laws.

Rajya Sabha too was adjourned till 5pm as opposition MPs rushed into the well of the House and raised slogans against the Centre. Later it was adjourned for the day as opposition members continued to raise slogans against the government. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu expressed discontent over the functioning of the Upper House. “We are becoming helpless day by day,” he said.

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Lok Sabha functioned only for 30 minutes, mostly during the Question Hour, after which Speaker Om Birla adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm. Later it was adjourned till July 27 amid protests. Meanwhile, the Lower House passed The National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The Bill has a provision that makes some institutes of food technology, entrepreneurship, and management as institutions of national importance. The National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Kundli, and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur will benefit from this law.

Earlier in the day, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Bill replaces an ordinance which introduced an alternative pre-packaged insolvency resolution process (PPIRP) for MSMEs.

Meanwhile, Samyukta Morcha, a farmers’ body, has decided to go to Uttarakhand, UttarPradesh, Punjab and other parts of the country and talk to farmers on government’s policies and work. “On September 5, there will be a big panchayat in Muzaffarnagar (UP),” said farmer leader Rakesh Tikait.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, who was released after brief detention in Delhi, said, “This battle will continue as it’s for protection of country’s farms and survival of farmers. They kept me in jail for 7 hours. Keep me in for 70 years, but take back the black (farm) laws.”