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Oppn. forces adjournment of Parliament proceedings over Maharashtra govt. issue

By PTI Updated: Nov 25, 2019 9:48 pm
Congress President Sonia Gandhi with senior party leaders leads a protest against Maharashtra government formation issue, at the Parliament premises in New Delhi on Monday.

New Delhi, Nov. 25 (PTI): The power tussle in Maharashtra reverberated in Parliament on Monday as opposition members staged vociferous protests, forcing adjournment of proceedings in both the Houses, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi dubbing the developments in the state as “murder of democracy”.

Gandhi set the tone for the protests in the morning when he refused to ask a supplementary question during question hour in the lower house while two of his party MPs, Hibi Eden and TN Prathapam, carrying a big black banner that read ‘Stop murder of democracy’ entered the Well of the House.

The action of the two Congressmen drew the ire of Speaker Om Birla, who ordered marshals to remove the two lawmakers after his warning to them to go back to their seats went unheeded.

However, other Congress members, carrying placards with messages such as “save Constitution” and “save democracy”, joined in and resisted their eviction from the House and were seen jostling with the marshals, prompting the speaker to adjourn the House till noon.

“There is no point in me asking the question as democracy has been murdered in Maharashtra,” Gandhi said amid the fracas.

Since the two Congress MPs were named by the Speaker, they were suspended for the day and were not present when the House reassembled at 2.00 PM. However, as the din continued, Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day.

Sources said Birla wanted apology from the two Kerala MPs for storming the Well with the banner, but Congress was not ready to apologise.

Outside the House, Birla said, “I am hurt by whatever happened in Parliament today. It is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.”

Sources said it is being considered whether these two MPs can be suspended for five years for storming the Well of the House and obstructing Parliament proceedings by shouting slogans.

While most Congress members were in the Well, those from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) also started raising slogans against the BJP-led Centre from their seats.

Amid the sloganeering, four bills, including the one to amend the SPG Act, were introduced in Lok Sabha.

In Rajya Sabha, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu rejected notices by opposition members seeking discussion on the happenings in Maharashtra, evoking sharp reactions from them as they raised slogans, prompting Naidu to adjourn the House.

Later at 2 pm when the House reassembled, the Congress, the Left, the DMK and other opposition members were up on their feet again, demanding discussion on the events in Maharashtra.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh said since the issue is sub-judice, it cannot be discussed.

As the opposition continued to stall proceedings, the Upper House was adjourned for the day.

Meanwhile, outside Parliament, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged that women parliamentarians of his party were “manhandled” in Lok Sabha when they were protesting in the Well of the House over the Maharashtra government formation.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi also raised the issue with the Speaker in his chamber saying that such incidents were uncalled for and should not happen, sources said.


Constitution Day: Oppn likely to boycott joint sitting of Parliament

Some opposition parties including the Congress are likely to boycott the joint sitting of Parliament on Tuesday called to commemorate the Constitution Day.
Sources said the opposition led by the Congress, left parties and NCP, TMC and DMK have planned a joint protest outside Ambedkar statue inside Parliament complex against the political developments in Maharashtra and installing a government led by Devendra Fadnavis with Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister.
The government is celebrating ‘Constitution Day’ or ‘Samvidhan Diwas’ on Tuesday in the Central Hall of Parliament to mark the 70th anniversary of adoption of the Constitution by the Constituent Assembly.

By PTI Updated: Nov 25, 2019 9:48:20 pm