Parliament proceedings washed out for third day
New Delhi: The proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were washed out for the third straight day on Wednesday, as opposition parties as well as NDA allies Shiv Sena, TDP and AIADMK stalled business vociferously protesting on issues like vandalisation of statues and the banking fraud.
While the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day just after noon, the Rajya Sabha witnessed similar scenes and was first adjourned till 2 PM and then for the day.
The Upper House also saw Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu expressing concern over the vandalisation of statues in different parts of the country and saying "the statues were vandalised. ... It's a shame. It's mad, mad, mad .... Whoever does it, whether it is in Tamil Nadu, whether it is West Bengal or Tripura." When the Lok Sabha met for the day, members of various parties, including TDP, Shiv Sena, TRS, YSR Congress, AIADMK and Trinamool Congress started raising slogans on different issues, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who had taken up the Question Hour, to adjourn the proceedings for an hour within minutes.
She was visibly upset when she left the House even as the din continued. Amid the ruckus, a Lok Sabha official had to repeat loudly that the House has been adjourned till noon.
While Congress members were pressing for a reply from the Prime Minister on the Rs 13,000 crore bank fraud allegedly involving diamantaire Nirav Modi, members of AIADMK and AAP were in the Well, holding photos of Periyar, and raising slogans condemning the vandalism in Vellore in which the statue of Dravidian icon Thanthai Periyar was defaced.
The TRS members were raising slogans demanding a hike in Telangana's quota in reservation, while TDP pressed for grant of special status for Andhra Pradesh and the Shiv Sena sought classical language status for Marathi.
The AIADMK, which has been protesting for the past two days seeking creation of Cauvery water management board, today also protested against vandalisation of statues, while the YSR Congress demanded implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act.
When the House reassembled at noon, the protesting members were already in the Well. Mahajan then asked Shiv Sena member Anandrao Adsul to speak on his demand.
Adsul said Marathi was an ancient language and fulfilled all the criteria for grant of the classical language status and added that Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia have already been given the classical language status.
"Several of our members have raised this issue repeatedly. We have given our submission to the minister but our demand has not been fulfilled till date," Adsul said.
In response, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present in the House, assured Adsul that the matter would be looked into. "The issue does not pertain to the Home Ministry. I will speak to the Culture Ministry on this," Singh said.
Thereafter, even as Shiv Sena stopped their protest on the issue, AIADMK members continued to raise slogans against the desecration of the statue of Periyar -- the founder of Dravidian movement.
"We strongly condemn vandalisation of statute of Thanthai Periyar by BJP members," read the placards held by AIADMK members. After the Home Minister's reply, as the uproarious scenes continued, the House was adjourned for the day.
In the Rajya Sabha, the same issues were raised by the opposition parties, which led to the first adjournment till 2 PM soon after 11 AM when it met for the day. The Chair called it a day as similar scenes were witnessed at 2 PM.
In the morning, the House also paid tributes to former Rajya Sabha member Jinendra Kumar Jain, who passed away earlier this month. But as soon as the listed papers were laid during the Zero Hour and the Chairman expressed concern over vandalisation of statues in different parts of the country, MPs from the Congress, TMC, Left parties, NDA ally TDP and AIADMK among others rushed into the Well shouting slogans.
Congress and Left party members were on their feet protesting the incidents of destroying statues of Periyar in Tripura and Vladimir Illyich Lenin in Tripura.
To this, Naidu said "statues were vandalised in different parts of the country. It is a shame. It's mad, whoever does it, whether it is in Tamil Nadu, whether it is West Bengal or whether it is in Tripura."
He also told the agitating members that the government has agreed and he has given permission to hold debate on all issues being raised by them, including the bank fraud, Cauvery river water issue and matters concerning Andhra Pradesh.
"We are ready to discuss all issues," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said in an attempt to restore order. Disappointed with the members protesting in the Well and raising slogans, the chairman said such acts were "bad" and "against democracy".