Ruckus in RS as Oppn MPs climb on table, throw files

Ruckus in Rajya Sabha as Opposition MPs climb on table, throw files at Chair during discussion on farmers' issue

Congress's Pratap Singh Bajwa climbed on the table and threw a file at the chair

Credit: PTI Photo

High drama was witnessed in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday during the discussion on farmers issue with at least Opposition two MPs climbing the reporters' table in Rajya Sabha -- one waving a black cloth and another throwing a file at the Chair after the proceedings were adjourned -- while around half a dozen MPs sat on the table.

The Opposition MPs sat on the reporters' table in front of the Chair for around 100 minutes on the reporter's table between 2:16 PM and 4:01 PM during which multiple adjournments were witnessed before Vice-Chairperson Bhubaneswar Kalita called it a day.

On their feet for the 16th day during the proceedings of the Monsoon Session as the ruling party stalled their demand for a discussion on Pegasus, the Opposition found fault with the government as soon as Kalita called for a short duration discussion on 'agricultural problems and solutions'.

While the government called the incident inside the House one which broke all barriers of unparliamentary behaviour, the Opposition said that what they wanted was not a "poetic discussion" on agriculture but one specific on repealing the contentious farm laws and the farmers' protest.

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The Rajya Sabha had witnessed high drama during the passage of the contentious three farm laws during Monsoon Session in September last year with the Opposition MPs trooping to the Well of the House, shouting slogans, throwing the rule book at the Chair, breaking microphones and throwing papers. Eight Opposition MPs were suspended for the remainder of the session then.

As the House assembled at 2 PM on Tuesday, Congress Chief Whip Jairam Ramesh cited a ruling by the Chair in 2015 and said his notice for calling attention motion has been converted into short duration discussion without taking the sense of the House. This decision is unilateral, he said even as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said if sense of the House is required then take it though such a thing has never happened.

Kalita said he cannot go back on the decision as it was taken by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and called the first speaker Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, prompting Opposition MPs to rush to the Well of the House shouting slogans.

AAP's Sanjay Singh was the first to climb the table at around 2:16 PM when BJD's Prasanna Acharya was speaking and waved a black cloth at the Chair, prompting Kalita to adjourn the House for 15 minutes. The MPs did not leave the table till the last adjournment even as a large number of marshals were deployed in the House.

As the House was adjourned while marshals brought Singh down from the table, Congress' Pratap Singh Bajwa climbed the table, shouted slogans and then threw a file at the Chair. Congress' Ripun Bora was also seen standing on the table for some time.

The sloganeering by the Opposition and counter-sloganeering by the BJP MPs continued inside the House even after the short adjournment. A number of Opposition MPs were wearing black shirts, kurtas and sarees while some others were wearing black shawls, black bands and black masks.

When the House re-assembled, Singh was back on the table and got company in CPI's Binoy Viswam, CPI(M)'s V Sivadasan, Congress' Deepender Hooda, Ripun Bora and Rajamani Patel, DNK's M Shanmugham and Trinamool Congress' Mausam Noor, leading to another adjournment for 30 minutes.

At 3:03 PM before adjourning the House for another hour, Kalita announced that Deputy Chairman Harivansh has invited all floor leaders for an immediate meeting to find a solution.

However, there was no meeting ground and Kalita adjourned the House for the day when it re-assembled at 4 PM.