RS paralysed due to Cong protests

RS paralysed due to Cong protests

 Rajya Sabha proceedings were virtually paralysed again today as opposition Congress members mounted vociferous protest over suspension of 25 of their party members in Lok Sabha as the government tried to introduce a bill to amend the anti-corruption law.

The protests started from the word go as slogan-shouting Congress members trooped into the Well raising slogans against the "dictatorial" attitude of the government. This led to two adjournments in the pre-lunch session before being finally adjourned for the day a few minutes after 2 PM.

Rajya Sabha has failed to transact any business ever since it met for the Monsoon session starting July 21. The Congress has upped its protests, boycotting the Lower House and staging dharna inside the Parliament complex since 25 of its MPs were suspended by the Speaker on Monday.

When the House reassembled at 2 PM after two adjournments, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien called Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh to move a Bill to further amend the Prevention of Corruption Act for consideration of the House.

Congress members, who were already in the Well, raised slogans that government's "dictatorship" will not be allowed.

As the Minister spelt out the amendments proposed by the government in the Bill saying that government was "committed" to bringing more transparency, Congress as well as other opposition members raised objections.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said "when the House is not in order, no Bill can be taken up. The House is not in order."

At this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi angrily asked "What do they want? They do not want any discussion in the House. They only want to make noise."

Undeterred by the din, the Minister continued his speech saying the amendments proposed by the government were aimed at ensuring more accountability in governance and making bribe-giving also an offence.

This was the second attempt by the government to take up the bill in the Upper House. Yesterday, Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy had also attempted to take up the bill for consideration and passage.

"Steps are being initiated so that honest and upright officers do not suffer and the amendments seek to enlarge the ambit of procedure for action against officials," the Minister said, adding that provisions were being put in place to grant sanction for acting against officers even after their superannuation.

Congress members raised strong objection to the taking up of the bill for consideration and shouted a big "No". They were joined by other opposition members who were also on their feet.

This forced the Chair to adjourn the House for the day.

Earlier when the House met for the day at 11 AM, Congress members created ruckus leading to the adjournment of the House within a few minutes. The House got adjourned again soon after it reassembled at noon.

No sooner did Home Minister Rajnath Singh make a suo motu statement on the Udhampur terrorist attack during the Zero Hour, slogan-shouting Congress members trooped into the Well shouting slogans against the "dictatorial attitude" of the government and asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence over Lalitgate and Vyapam scam.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien called on K N Balagopal (CPI-M) who had given a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of the business to discuss alleged impropriety by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in helping controversial former IPL head Lalit Modi and Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh.

The matter could not be taken up any further as continued ruckus led Kurien to adjourn the House till 1200 hours.

When the House reassembled at noon, Chairman Hamid Ansari's pleas for allowing the Question Hour to be taken up fell on deaf ears, with Congress members again trooping into the Well raising slogans, forcing Chairman Hamid Ansari to adjourn the House for the second time till 2 PM. 

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