Chaos Forces Adjournment Of Rajya Sabha For Record 11 TimesTIMES NEWS NETWORK
New Delhi: A united opposition on Wednesday scuttled the government’s push to pass amendments to the antigraft bill in the Rajya Sabha — which was adjourned for a record 11 times amid chaos over technicalities regarding the passage of the legislation.
Though the Prevention of Corruption (Amendments) Bill was passed by a voice vote, Trinamool Congress demanded a division while minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh said it should be passed without debate. But division was disallowed by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien on the ground that the House was not in order.
Earlier, the treasury bench charged the opposition with double standards over corruption, alleging that they were talking about it outside Parliament while holding the House to ransom.
The bill aims to make giving a bribe a specific offence like taking a bribe, and seeks to modify the definitions and penalties for such offences, among other things.
“People want legislation. The country wants development. But a handful of people are obstructing the house… This is not democracy. This is stifling of democracy… There is an important bill on the prevention of corruption, which is agitating the minds of people. Please at least pass that bill,” Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said calling the disruption a “murder of democracy”.
The second half was more unruly as the House witnessed 10 adjournments in a row in three hours. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the entire opposition was keen on passage of the Bill. “The impression being given outside is that it is the opposition which is not interested in discussing the issues. Let us not be under that impression,” he said, adding that they also wanted to take up discussion on CBSE paper leak, SC/ ST issue and the special status issue for Andhra Pradesh.
Twelve new MPs, including re-elected ones like Jaya Bachchan (SP) and Bhupender Yadav (BJP), took oath in Rajya Sabha. Finance minister and leader of the house Arun Jaitley was not among the newly elected or re-elected members who took the oath for the second day running.
Leaders of 13 opposition parties urged the government and the presiding officers of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to allow discussion on issues being raised by them, saying they were willing to extend the Budget Session to pass the government’s legislative agenda.
The Lok Sabha remained disrupted for the 20th day on the trot and failed to transact any business as AIADMK members trooped into the Well and raised slogans seeking immediate constitution of the Cauvery water management board. As pandemonium prevailed, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan first adjourned the House till noon. Even Congress, NCP, Left, TDP and RJD members were seen standing on their seats seeking the Speaker’s ruling on notices they had given on the no-confidence motion, moved by some of them.
The Congress MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla was seen sporting a ‘kurta’ imprinted with a demand for rollback of GST on the ‘langar’, a free communal kitchen, at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.