Friday, June 14, 2024

New low in Parliament: Mayawati targets Chairman in RS


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New Delhi: Proceedings in Parliament touched a new low on Wednesday with BSP chief Mayawati stunning the Rajya Sabha by her outbursts against Chairman Hamid Ansari over its frequent disruptions, because of which both Houses could not function for the third consecutive day.

Mayawati, agitated over delay in consideration of a bill for providing quota for SCs/STs in government job promotions, targeted Ansari over disorder in the House for several days.

While she shocked Rajya Sabha, her party MPs paralysed Lok Sabha demanding clarification on coal block allocation.

Mayawati’s outburst in the Upper House came at around 11:30 AM when Question Hour was in progress and Commerce and Textile Minister Anand Sharma was replying to queries.

She, along with her party colleagues, rushed into the House and started venting her ire even before taking her seat.

“We have seen in the last few days that every day the House is not allowed to function after 12 PM. You are Chairman of the House. It is your responsibility to ensure that it functions,” the BSP supremo said addressing Ansari.

The Chairman tried to pacify her but she was unrelenting as she said, “I am not ready to listen to anything…Who will ensure that the House functions?”

She insisted that the House should run in order. “You are not seen here after 12 PM… What kind of House is this?”

A visibly shocked Ansari said it was the responsibility of everyone to ensure smooth functioning of the House. “You are a senior leader…the House is run with the cooperation with everyone. The House is running right now. You please allow the House to run,” he told Mayawati.

However, she did not relent and her party colleagues started shouting slogans against the government like ‘dalit virodhi ye sarkar nahi chalegi’ (anti-dalit government is not acceptable). Ansari then adjourned the House till noon.

As per parliamentary tradition, the Chair is never questioned by a member on conduct of the House.

When the House reassembled, BSP members again trooped into the Well shouting slogans.

As the din continued, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourned the House for another 30 minutes till 12:30 PM. Similar scenes were witnessed when House met again, forcing Kurien to adjourn it for the day.

While BSP is pushing for the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, Samajwadi Party is strongly opposing it arguing it will divide the society. The bill was listed for consideration and passage today but could not be taken up because of disorder in the House.

On Tuesday also, two attempts were made to move it for consideration by Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy but these failed because of pandemonium.

Earlier, before the House met for the day on Wednesday, Ansari held a meeting with leaders of all parties to find a way out of the logjam over the reservation issue.

Mayawati, who had bailed out the government on the FDI issue last week apparently in lieu of understanding that this bill will be passed, had warned two days back that she would take a “tough” stand if the proposed legislation was not considered by the House.

Ansari has already been anguished over repeated disruptions and on Tuesday it went to the extent of suggesting that the Question Hour be either scrapped or shifted to some later part of the day.

He called a meeting of the Rules Committee of the Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue.

When the Rajya Sabha re-assembled at noon, Mayawati remained seated but her party members trooped into the Well shouting slogans against the government on the issue.

Amid the uproar, BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu took strong objection to reports on Government’s plans to increase the cap on subsidised LPG.

Protesting against the announcement of intent by Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily to increase the cap on LPG subsidy outside the House when Parliament is in session, Naidu said it is a matter of the privilege of the House.

Kurien adjourned the House for half an hour. However, similar scenes were witnessed when the House again assembled at 12:30 PM.

In the Lok Sabha, Question Hour was normal for about 45 minutes before BSP members started raising slogans to demand details of coal block allocations, which have come under focus for alleged irregularities.

BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan rose from his seat and demanded that the government clarify on the coal block issue. BSP members trooped into the Well of the House and shouted slogans. BJP members were seen egging them on.

This forced adjournment of the House till noon. When the House met, BSP members stormed the Well and demanded that the facts of the coal block allocation issue be made public.

When the House met again, BSP members walked into the Well and raised slogans to press for their demand that details of coal block allocations be made public. This led to adjournment of the House till 2 PM.

As the Lok Sabha met again, agitating BSP members trooped into the Well pressing for their demand. Deputy Speaker Karia Munda called Ananth Kumar (BJP) to make special mention.

But, as BSP MPs continued their protest, he adjourned the House till 3 PM. When the House reassembled, similar protests were witnessed over the coal block issue.

Francisco Sardinha, who was in the Chair, tried to restore order but as BSP members were adamant, he adjourned the House for the day. (PTI)


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