Congress protests stall proceedings in both Houses of Parliament

Congress protests stall proceedings in both Houses of Parliament

A vociferous Congress today forced adjournment of both Houses of Parliament till 1130 hours, a day party president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi were asked to appear before court in connection with the National Herald case.

Congress members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha stormed into the Well no sooner had they met for the day, protesting over the "politics of revenge".
The court today allowed the exemption plea of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others for the day.

In Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to explain what his party was protesting against. But Kharge did not respond to her as Sonia Gandhi, sitting next to him, gestured him apparently not to say anything.

After hearing Speaker's call, TMC leader Sudeep Bandopadhyay also told Gandhi to respond to the Chair. She responded to him in gestures but could not be heard in the din.

TMC members were also on their feet but the reason for their protest could not be known due to the din.

Similar scenes were witnessed in Rajya Sabha where slogan shouting Congress members stormed the Well as soon as it met for the day.

They raised slogans like "Tanashahi nahi chalegi" (dictatorship will not be tolerated)" and "Badle ke rajnathi nahi chalegi (politics of revenge).

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien got listed papers of the day tabled amidst the din and asked Congress members to go back to their places and explain the reason for their protest.

"Instead of shouting slogan, one of you stand up and say what is your grievance," he said. "Let me also know... I am not able to understand anything."

Congress member however did not pay heed to his requests and continued shouting slogans.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said their problem is the court not the government.

Congress, he said, should respect the judicial process and work under the due process of law.

"At least the Chair must know what is the grievance, what is the provocation," Kurien said as he asked if the Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad would like to say anything.

Azad however did not oblige.

With Congress members unrelenting, both Houses were adjourned till 1130 hours.

Before adjourning Lok Sabha, Speaker dismissed the adjournment motions moved on a host of issues including government's engagement with Pakistan, Muzaffarnagar riots and Mullaperiyar dam.

Earlier, Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament: "I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anyone. I am not disturbed."

She was asked about the Delhi High Court rejecting their pleas for quashing the summons by a Delhi court against them in the National Herald case.

Meanwhile, the metropolitan magistrate's court today allowed the exemption pleas of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others for the day. The court, however, directed Sonia, Rahul and other accused to appear in person on December 19.

When Rajya Sabha reassembled at 1130 hours, Congress members rushed to the Well raising slogans.

Amid sloganeering, Naresh Agrawal (SP) said this government was not only working to take "political vendetta" against the Congress, but opposition-ruled states also. He alleged that the Centre has stopped developmental works in Uttar Pradesh, ruled by SP.

Naqvi again asked the agitating Congress members "what is there issue". He said if it related to the House, the government could answer. However, if it relates to court, they should go to the court.

In an effort to pacify the Congress members, Kurien asked them return to their seats and explain the issue.

As Congress did not yield to his requests, the House was adjourned till noon.

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