Akhilesh issue rocks RS, proceedings wash out again

Akhilesh issue rocks RS, proceedings wash out again

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu conducts the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Tuesday (RSTV GRAB via PTI)

Rajya Sabha proceedings were disrupted Tuesday following protests by the Samajwadi Party and other opposition parties over alleged stopping of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav at Lucknow airport to prevent him from visiting Allahabad.

The trouble started in the first half after as many as 15 members had made Zero Hour mention on matters of public importance. Samajwadi Party members were up on their feet trying to raise the issue but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu ordered that nothing would go on record.

Naidu said he cannot allow them to raise the issue as they have not given notice.

SP members said they have received information that Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav was stopped at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow by police in a bid to prevent him from visiting Allahabad to attend an oath-taking ceremony of a student leader at Allahabad University.

"Please go to your seat. Please don't spoil the atmosphere. This is not the way. We have lost so much of valuable time," Naidu said before adjourning the proceedings till 2 PM.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had told reporters in Lucknow that the step was taken on the request of the university as their was apprehension that Yadav's visit could trigger violence on the campus. But Yadav claimed the CM's statement was "a cover to hide nervousness" and its action showed how "scared" the BJP government is.

When the Rajya Sabha re-assembled at 2 PM, members of SP, Bahujan Samaj Party, Trinamool Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) continued their protests following which the House was adjourned till 2:35 PM.

As soon as the House met again at 2:35 PM, members from various opposition parties trooped into the Well protesting against the incident involving Akhilesh Yadav.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh tried to pacify the members saying that the Chairman did not receive any notice regarding the issues being raised by them and therefore a discussion on them cannot be allowed.

He asked the members to go back to their seats so that the discussion on Motion of Thanks on President's address can continue and later the one on interim budget is taken up.

"This is our constitutional duty. We are not even being able to discuss over the budget speech," he said.

However, opposition members refused to relent and continued their protests, following which he adjourned the house till Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the government introduced two bills - the International Financial Services Center Authority Bill 2019 and Cinematography (amendment) Bill 2019.

International Financial Services Center Authority Bill 2019 was moved by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla.

The Cinematography (amendment) bill 2019 was moved by Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Earlier this morning, the proceedings went on smoothly for some time, unlike the past six days, before the protests by the SP and other parties started.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad (Cong) said there are constitutional responsibilities on part of both the government and the opposition. These include passing a motion of Thanks to the President for his address to the joint siting of Parliament at the start of the Budget session, and approving the budget.

He suggested that the discussion on Motion of Thanks on the President's Address can be taken up on Tuesday and the debate on the Interim Budget 2019-20 on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the government was agreeable to the suggestion.

"We can extend the session if there is an agreement in the House" to discuss the six bills that are listed for taking up after the Motion of Thanks is passed and the Budget approved, he said.

However, his suggestion did not seem to have found favour with members.