New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 p.m. on Thursday after repeated disruptions with the opposition demanding the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
As soon the house assembled for the day, members from the Congress and other opposition parties were on their feet. They refused to listen to the government’s repeated statements that a discussion must be started.
Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said he failed to understand the opposition’s protest.
“I am at a loss to understand why this futile exercise because the other day there were some notices under Rule 267 to suspend business of the house… We suspend business of the house because this a topic is important. I heard both sides and said I permitted a discussion but a discussion did not happen…”
“Yesterday also the same thing happened. The government agreed for a discussion, I also agreed for discussion. You wanted discussion,” the deputy chairman said to which the opposition clarified that they wanted action before a discussion, referring to the resignations.
Kurien further said: “I agree with you… You want discussion with some condition. My point is your condition is something I can’t implement. If discussion is not happening what is the point of this protest?” he asked.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley then pointed out that Congress leader Anand Sharma’s notice for the day did not have the condition of action before discussion.
“Anand Sharma’s motion today is without a condition. It does not say the minister must resign,” said Jaitley.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury and some other opposition leaders then questioned how Jaitley got the notice.
When Kurien clarified that the notice is shared with the parliamentary affairs minister, Yechury said this was a breach of privilege.
However, Jaitley read out from the rule book which said the notices on motions should be distributed to all members.
As the din continued, the house was adjourned till 12 noon.
As ruckus continued during the question hour, Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 2 p.m.