The logjam in Parliament continued on Monday with both houses adjourned for the day following protests by Opposition MPs over the Adani issue and Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as MP from the Lok Sabha.
While the Lok Sabha was adjourned minutes after it reassembled at 4 pm, Rajya Sabha, which was adjourned till 2 pm, reconvened in the afternoon and after returning Finance Bill 2023, J&K Budget for 2023-24 to LS without discussion in din, was adjourned for the day.
While moving the Finance Bill for discussion, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moved an amendment to correct the rates of Securities Transaction Tax in the bill that was passed by Lok Sabha last week.
The bills were approved to be returned to Lok Sabha by voice vote without discussion. Lok Sabha adjourned for the day after the Finance Bill, approved by the Rajya Sabha, was adopted by the House amid din by Opposition members.
Pandemonium in LS
As soon as the Lower House was convened on Monday morning after the weekend break, Opposition MPs trooped into the well. Congress MPs hurled papers at the Chair. Congress members T N Prathapan Hibi Eden, Jothi Mani S and Ramya Haridas were seen tearing papers in their hands and throwing them at the Speaker. Some of the MPs also waved black cloth at the Speaker, and a leader threw his banner at the Chair.
The Congress MPs were heard shouting “You are killing democracy” slogans at the Speaker.
In Rajya Sabha, the MPs targetted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, by shouting slogans like, “Modi-Adani bhai, bhai”.
Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said the House is in “disorder from both sides” before adjourning the proceedings till 2 pm.
Dressed in black
The Opposition MPs were dressed in black as mark of protest against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as Lok Sabha MP on Friday.
Also watch: Congress holds satyagraha across the country | Rahul Gandhi disqualification
After the adjournment, Opposition MPs gathered in front of Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex to hold a protest. They also took out a protest march to Vijay Chowk with a large banner saying ‘Satyamev Jayate’.
TMC attends Opposition meeting
Earlier, Congress president and leader of the party in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, held a meeting of leaders of 18 Opposition parties to discuss joint strategy in Parliament. Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) also attended the meeting.
This was for the first time in the ongoing budget session that TMC attended a meeting of Opposition parties called by Kharge. TMC in the past had avoided joining Opposition strategy meetings in which Congress was a part.
Prasun Banerjee and Jawhar Sircar represented TMC in the meeting. The party said the Opposition should be united, even though they are distancing themselves from a joint front on other issues.
Also read: Opposition takes out protest march, alleges ‘democracy’s in danger’
Kharge welcomes support
After the protest march, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge thanked all Opposition parties for coming out in support “of our party and to condemn the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi”.
“We have all come dressed in black today because we want to show how Modi is destroying democracy and all institutions one by one. Those who do not bow before the BJP are being intimidated by the misuse of probe agencies but a man whose wealth has inexplicably grown manifold in the past two-and-a-half years is not being investigated,” he said.
Kharge said Modi could not answer the questions posed by Rahul Gandhi in Parliament about Adani. “Every single Opposition party is asking these same questions, every Opposition party is demanding a JPC probe for the sake of transparency, to bring the truth out. Why are they scared of a JPC, they have a two-third majority,” he said.
“The PM has no answers to the questions that Rahul Gandhi has raised,” he said.
On the defamation case against Rahul Gandhi, Kharge said, “The so-called offence occurred in my state of Karnataka, the case was registered in Gujarat outside jurisdiction. Why? Only because you wanted to influence the case.”
“You have given maximum punishment of two years only to enable BJP and Lok Sabha Speaker to disqualify Rahul from Parliament,” he said, adding that the BJP did this “when Rahul spoke against Adani, when Rahul took out a Bharat Jodo Yatra and mobilized lakhs of people.”
Also read: Rahul Gandhi disqualified from Lok Sabha; ‘not intimidated,’ says Kharge
This, the Congress president said, will not scare Rahul nor the Opposition parties. “We will chalk out our future strategy soon and we will fight this government unitedly.”
Sonia Gandhi too chaired a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party earlier in the morning.
Also read: Rahul’s disqualification lawful, not political; is Cong questioning court?: BJP leaders
Meanwhile, speaking about Opposition’s protest over disqualification of Rahul Gandhim Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri was reported by Hindustan Times as saying, “…You are getting an ass to run a horse’s race…They really deserve to do some serious introspection…People of India would judge them for what they are…Fight Court’s action in the Court, you are invoking Mahabharat and Savarkar.”