Congress disrupts RS, party MPs walk out of Lok Sabha

Activists of opposition Congress party's youth wing protest against alleged "horse trading" of lawmakers by Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka in New Delhi on July 9, 2019. (AFP)

Parliament on Tuesday continued to witness uproar over political crisis in Karnataka, with the Congress MPs disrupting proceedings of the Rajya Sabha and walking out of the Lok Sabha, accusing the BJP of indulging in “poaching politics”.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had to adjourn the Rajya Sabha soon after it assembled for the day, as the agitated Congress MPs came to the well and started raising slogans, when he decided not to allow B K Hariprasad from Karnataka to speak on the political crisis. Naidu and deputy chairman Harivansh had to adjourn the Rajya Sabha repeatedly as pandemonium continued every time it reassembled. The House was finally adjourned for the day at 2 pm.

“This poaching politics must be stopped,” Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said, before walking out of the House with other MPs of the opposition party. He also alleged that the BJP was also trying to destabilize the Congress-led Government in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chief Sonia Gandhi and outgoing president of the party Rahul Gandhi also joined the other MPs of the party to walk out of the House.

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It was the first time after the new 17th Lok Sabha was constituted that the lower House of Parliament saw the opposition MPs coming to the well and agitating. Rahul Gandhi, who was seen sitting in the front row with Sonia Gandhi, was seen encouraging his party’s MPs, as they raised slogans like “We Want Justice” and “Save Democracy”.

Even as the Congress MPs walked out, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reiterated that the BJP and the BJP-led government at the Centre had nothing to do with the political crisis. He said that whatever was happening in the state was an internal matter of the Congress.

Singh criticised the Congress for disturbing the proceedings of the lower house.

The Congress, on Tuesday, again submitted a notice to Speaker Om Birla, seeking his permission to move an adjournment motion in the House to raise the issue of the crisis in Karnataka.

The Speaker, however, did not allow the party to move the adjournment motion. He was initially reluctant to allow the leader of the principal opposition party to speak on the issue even during the Zero Hour. Birla told Chowdhury that he would not allow him to speak, because the issue had already been raised on Monday.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi too pointed out that the Congress had already raised the issue of Karnataka in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Chowdhury then scribbled on a piece of paper and formally submitted to Birla, seeking his permission to speak on the issue during Zero Hour.

The MPs of the Congress and its ally DMK had by then trooped into the well of the House. When a Congress MP waved a paper with “Save Democracy” written on it, the Speaker warned him against doing so again. He later allowed Chowdhury to speak.

 

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