Winter Session starts on stormy note; Oppn uproar in LS

Despite the ruckus, seven questions and related supplementaries were taken up during the Question Hour. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi sought to pacify protesting members, saying the government was ready for any discussion.

The Winter Session of Lok Sabha on Monday began on a stormy note, with protests by the Congress and other Opposition members over various issues. Soon after the oath-taking of four members and paying condolences to members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha who died in recent months, Opposition members sought to raise various issues.

Within minutes of commencement of the Question Hour, around 30 members from the Congress trooped into the well, shouting slogans and demanding that the government stop attacking the Opposition as well as foisting false cases.

The members along with those from the National Conference also raised the issue of detention of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. The issue was also raised by RSP leader N K Premachandran when he was given a chance to ask a supplementary question related to the Finance Ministry.

"Farooq Abdullah is not in the House. The House is not in order. I am not in a position to ask any question," Premachandran said. Members of the Shiv Sena, one of the oldest allies of the BJP which has snapped its ties with the ruling party, also raised slogans and demanded relief for farmers.

Later, they walked out of the House. In the wake of differences over the formation of government in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP and the latter's member also resigned as a minister from the Union government.

DMK members were also seen standing at their seats. Speaker Om Birla told agitating members that they would be given an opportunity to raise issues within rules after the Question Hour.

"I am ready to discuss all issues. Please go to your seats... This House is not for sloganeering but for debates and discussions," Birla said.

Despite the ruckus, seven questions and related supplementaries were taken up during the Question Hour. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi sought to pacify protesting members, saying the government was ready for any discussion.

"Let the Speaker decide and (there can be) discussion under rules," Joshi said and stressed that Question Hour is the right of every member amid vociferous protests. Four members -- Prince Raj (LJP), Himadri Singh (BJP), Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil (NCP) and D M Kathir Anand (DMK) -- took the oath.

Family members of Raj and Anand were sitting in the visitor's gallery. Anand's father and senior DMK leader Durai Murugan was also present.

The House paid tributes to 10 members, including from the Rajya Sabha, who passed away recently. They included former Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ram Jethmalani. The House also stood in silence as a mark of respect for the departed souls.

Before the proceedings began, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was seen chatting with a few Opposition members, including TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not present in the House. 

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