Rajya Sabha on Thursday witnessed sharp exchanges between Treasury and Opposition benches as they tried to outshout each other over different issues, throwing the House into a pandemonium and forcing its adjournment till noon.
As the Opposition led by Congress demanded farm loan waiver to give relief to the distressed farmers hit by weather vagaries and demonetisation, the ruling benches shouted slogans displaying copies of a news report claiming that some people in the erstwhile UPA regime allegedly received money in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said it is unprecedented that the ruling side is not allowing Parliament to function.
“It is the ruling party which is disrupting the House…
in both Houses (of Parliament), it is the ruling party which is not allowing the Parliament to function. It is for the first time in the history of independent India that the ruling party is not allowing the House to function,” he said.
Azad, who had given a notice to raise the issue of distress among farmers after demonetisation, was called by the Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to speak but he could hardly make his submission.
“I have given the floor to the Leader of the Opposition.
It is the convention of the House that when Leader of the Opposition or Leader of the House wish to speak, they are heard in silence,” Kurien said but BJP members did not heed.
Union ministers too interjected as Azad rose to speak with I&B Minister M Venkaiah Naidu wanting to know what he wanted to say and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi saying the members of the ruling side want a discussion on the corruption issue.
Kurien told Naidu that Azad had given a notice to raise farmers distress and even without a notice the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the House are allowed to speak whenever they wish to speak.
To Naqvi, he said the ruling side can give a notice to raise a discussion on the issue they want, and asked Azad to make his submission.
Alleging that the Centre was anti-farmer and its policies were ruining crops, Azad said farmers are dying, their vegetables rotting and crops welting and they are not sowing seeds. Farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and other states are facing grave distress and the Centre should waive off their loan, he demanded.
Using his lung power to make the submission due to slogans by BJP members to drown his voice, he said, “the ruling side is not allowing Parliament to function.”
Mayawati (BSP), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) and Derek O’Brien (TMC) too rose to say but they could not be heard in the din.
At this point, Congress members trooped into the Well of the House shouting slogans demanding waiver of farm loans.
Kurien tried to restore order in the House but his pleas fell on deaf ears, forcing him to adjourn the proceedings till 1200 hours.