New Delhi : Just 10 MPs of a regional party Monday managed to stall the proceedings in parliament repeatedly and got both houses adjourned over their protest against the construction of a river barrage by a neighbouring state.
The four Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs in the 545-member Lok Sabha blocked the question hour, zero hour and afternoon businesses, including an important discussion over the functioning of three organs of the state i.e. legislature, judiciary and executive.
In the 250-member Rajya Sabha, the six TDP MPs created an uproar, forcing Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat to adjourn it three times Monday before adjourning it for the day at 2 p.m.
The Andra Pradesh MPs are protesting against neighbouring Maharashtra's decision to go ahead with the construction of the Babli barrage on Godavari river saying it would block the water flow to Telangana region in their state.
In the afternoon, the Lok Sabha managed to pass three bills – Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment Bill), Securities Contracts (Regulation Amendment Bill and National Institutes of Technology Bill – without any discussions. Some of the members protested saying the bills were passes without any discussion.
Interestingly, in the Lok Sabha, when TDP leader K. Yerran Naidu rose from his seat, immediately after the newly-elected MP Bhai Lal Kul from Uttar Pradesh's Robertsganj took oath, a majority of the members were seen looking puzzled wondering what was the issue.
"Many of the members were not aware of the issue," Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP Mohammed Salim admitted outside parliament.
Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's pleas that the issue could be discussed fell on deaf ears and the MPs continued the din.
Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice before lunch as MPs belonging to Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh marched towards the speaker's podium, raising slogans over the project. "What is happening in this house? Let me know from the party leaders whether parliament should function or not," an exasperated Chatterjee asked.
Similar scenes were witnessed when the house met in the afternoon and it was adjourned for the day.
In the Rajya Sabha, the TDP MP Ravula Chandra Sekar Reddy gave a notice to discuss the issue suspending the question hour. When the chairman disallowed it, the MPs persisted forcing adjournments. The TDP MPs, with a little help from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs, continued their uproar during the day till the house was adjourned for the day.
The construction of barrage has been an issue between the two states and farmers in the Telangana region have been protesting against it. The area is heavily dependent on the Godavari river for drinking water and irrigation.