NEW DELHI, Aug 1: The Rajya Sabha (RS) on Wednesday witnessed vociferous protests by Trinamool Congress (TMC) members over the Assam NRC issue, forcing house Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu to adjourn the house for the day.
Due to disruptions, Home Minister Rajnath Singh could not make a statement and was forced to table it instead whereas BJP President Amit Shah could not conclude his speech that he started on Tuesday.
As the upper House of Parliament reassembled at 2 p.m., Naidu asked Shah to resume his speech related to the discussion on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam that he could not complete due to pandemonium on Tuesday.
At this, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sukhendu Shekhar Roy raised a point of order and said that as per the rules of conduct of the upper house, a member cannot speak twice on the same issue if he fails to complete his speech in the first instance. But his point was rejected by the Chairman.
Naidu said that he had given Shah permission to complete his speech and asked him to continue.
As the point of order was rejected, the TMC members trooped near the Chairman’s podium and started raising slogans, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come to the house and make a statement on the issue.
Naidu urged the TMC members to go back to their seats and allow Shah to continue, but the Trinamool members did not relent.
“It seems a conspiracy... not letting the house function by creating a controversy... You are doing something which is not acceptable in parliamentary system,” Naidu said.
As they continued with their protest and sloganeering, Naidu appealed to Roy to ask his party members to return to their seats.
“You create disorder and you raise point of order... there must be some patience to hear the reply,” he said.
“Are we at the mercy of one party?... this is unbecoming of Parliament members,” Naidu said as he requested the agitating MPs to go back to their seats.
Amid the din, Shah rose from his seat but couldn’t continue with his speech. He requested the Chair amid the din to go ahead with the Home Minister’s reply and sat down.
On Tuesday, Shah’s remarks that the earlier governments did not have the courage to implement the Assam Accord signed in 1985 had provoked the opposition to protest.
Naidu then called Rajnath Singh to give his reply and asked the members to restore order. However, as the sloganeering continued, the Home Minister tabled his reply amid the din.
As Naidu’s appeals went unheeded by agitating TMC members, he said: “This seems to be a system that you spoke, you had your say and now (you) come and disturb the proceedings. You don’t want to hear the reply.”
“As some of the members are not willing to hear the Home Minister and as they are not ready to relent, I am adjourning the house for the day,” Naidu said before adjourning the upper house.
Earlier, when the house met for the day, it was adjourned till noon as the Congress members stood up to register their protest against Shah’s remarks.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma asked Chairman Naidu to expunge Shah’s comments wherein he said “you did not have the courage, but we have it to implement the NRC”.
Naidu said that he would look into the issue and expunge any remarks found uncalled for.
The Opposition members objected. Amid the noise, Naidu adjourned the House till noon.(IANS)