Rail Budget debate derailed as 'tired' RS members refuse to take part

Rail Budget debate derailed as 'tired' RS members refuse to take part

Rail Budget debate derailed as 'tired' RS members refuse to take part

The Rajya Sabha today witnessed a peculiar scenario when none of the members was willing to initiate or participate in a debate on Rail Budget despite being listed, with some saying they were tired, prompting the Chair to adjourn the House for the day at around 5.30 PM.

As soon as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a statement on a meeting that a journalist had with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien wanted to take up the debate on Rail Budget.

He announced that "two hours have been allotted today for discussion on rail budget".

This prompted a demand from the Opposition that discussion should be held tomorrow.

Naresh Chandra Agarwal (SP) said the media has got enough fodder for their reports and asked "Now who will listen to the discussion on Rail Budget?"

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said 10 hours have been allotted for the discussion on the topic and two hours' debate could be held today.

On this, Agarwal said in a lighter vein that "duty hours were fixed even for labourers and it was violation of labour law as MPs are too tired."

Kurien, however quipped that "there is no labour law for MPs".

He said a discussion could not be held yesterday also and Rail Budget was such an issue that every member would like to speak.

However, when he announced the name of Prabhat Jha (BJP), he said he would like to speak tomorrow.

After this Kurien announced a number of names including Avtar Singh Karimpuri (SAD) and Derek O Brien (TMC) but all refused.

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) said the Chair should not ask but direct the members to speak.
Kurien then asked a DMK member to speak but Siva said his party colleague would speak in Tamil and translation was not available.

Finding nobody ready to speak, Kurien then adjourned the House for the day. "I find the sense of the House is to adjourn," he quipped.

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