Oppn MPs demand discussion on riots, resignation of home minister Amit Shah.
New Delhi: There was uproar in both Houses of Parliament on Monday over Delhi riots, with the Lok Sabha witnessing unprecedented scenes when members of the treasury and Opposition benches almost came to blows when the latter were protesting in the Well of the House.
The go-ahead for the protests by Congress was given by party chief Sonia Gandhi at a meeting on Monday morning where she said that MPs should demand for nothing less than the resignation of Home minister Amit Shah.
When the House assembled in the morning, it was adjourned till 2 PM over the death of sitting JD(U) member Baidyanath Prasad Mahto, who was an MP from Valmiki Nagar in Bihar.
When the House reassembled at 2 PM, the entire Opposition, led by the Congress, began protesting while shouting slogans seeking the resignation of home minister Amit Shah. MPs belonging to Congress, DMK, Trinamul Congress were carrying placards of “Save the Democracy”, “Home Minister resign” and “No more Hate”.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former president and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi were both present in the House as were other senior leaders like Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav.
However, the Speaker, after dismissing all the adjournment motions of the Opposition leaders, tried running the House normally with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman introducing the Direct Tax Vivaad Se Vishwas Bill and health minister Harshv-ardhan introducing the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill and Mineral Laws Amendment Bill.
When West Champaran BJP MP Sanjay Jaiswal was speaking on the Finance Bill when Congress MPs Hibi Eden and Gaurav Gogoi went towards him and tried to block him with a banner demanding resignation of the home minister facing the camera. Mr Jaiswal then made a comment on Congress president Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and soon all hell broke lose as the two MPs moved menacingly towards him and ruling party MPs rushed to stop them. Both sides almost came to blows.
For a while there seemed to be a free for all as MPs from both Opposition and ruling sides pushed and shoved in the Well. The Speaker adjourned the House till 3 PM.
The drama, however, continued even after the House was adjourned as MPs traded barbs and many, like BJP MPs Ramesh Bidhuri and Ashwini Chaubey and Congress’ Mr Eden among others, continued to argue.
Even as this was going on, another battlefront opened with Congress Kerala MP Ramya Haridas claiming that BJP MP Jaskaur Meena had “physically assaulted” her during that time.
Ms Haridas later wrote a complaint to the Lok Sabha Speaker to this effect. However, the BJP MP denied and has since filed a counter complaint.
As chaos prevailed, Lok Sabha Speaker took the chair and said that he was pained to see the situation in the House. “This is the temple of democracy. There are certain rules and tradition. You should not come to the Well. As you are responsible representatives of people here, it is your collective responsibility to maintain peace and tranquility”.
After this, he adjourned the House till Tuesday.
Speaking with reporters after Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day, Congress’ leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the party demanded that the violence in Delhi should be discussed in the Lok Sabha as it was a very important issue and the world was talking about it.
“The government should put forward its views on it. We were trying to make this request, but the government did not allow us to do so and kept making one excuse after another,” he said.
The Rajya Sabha too had to be adjourned for the day after Opposition MPs remained adamant on their demand for Union home minister Amit Shah’s resignation and kept shouting slogans against the Modi government.
As the Upper House assembled in the morning, chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu disallowed the discussion on Delhi riots as demanded by the Opposition, saying the issue was definitely important but the priority should be to restore normalcy and then discuss ways and means of preventing it.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad charged that the Central government “slept” when violence rocked Delhi for three days.
“Today, discussion is not allowed… I have to give permission. I have to decide the time and I have to take the minister into confidence for having the discussion… Please, let us help to restore normalcy…,” said the Chairman whose appeals to members to resume their places went unheeded after which he adjourned proceedings till 2 PM.
As the House re-assembled at 2 PM, 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.
Amid the sloganeering and protests, human resource development minister 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.