Rajya Sabha stalled over National Herald case


The National Herald case stalled the Rajya Sabha for the second day on Wednesday, with Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad blaming the government for misusing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in getting the case reopened.

“ED had shut the case. Subramanian Swamy and the government got it reopened,” Azad said.

“We have no charges against the judiciary… It is not the fault of the court, but of this government… which changed the ED who reopened the case. So my charge is that on the direction of the government, the cases against all opposition leaders are being reopened, even if they are small cases,” he said.

Azad’s comments came just before the house was adjourned for the day around 3.15 p.m.

“Democracy is being murdered so this is the best platform to raise the issue, in the temple of democracy,” he said.

Azad was countered by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who said the opposition should start a discussion.

Earlier, disruptions started as soon as the house met at 11 a.m. when Congress members stormed the chairman’s podium raising the issue of summons to party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.

The Congress members chanted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Members of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) also protested against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on the Polavaram project, a multi-purpose dam in Andhra Pradesh whose reservoir spreads into parts of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

They trooped near the chairman’s podium and held placards demanding that work on the Polavaram Dam project be stopped.

Amid the din, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien adjourned the house till 11.30 a.m.

When the house reassembled, Congress and BJD members went close to the chairman’s podium and again shouted slogans.

Congress members were shouting slogans like “Modi teri tanashahi, nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi”.

Meanwhile, Naqvi said: “The Congress party is stalling the development of the country. Whistleblowers protection bill and ST/SC (prevention of atrocities) amendment bill are listed in today’s business.”

“If the Congress party feels any kind of discrimination, we are ready to discuss. They are protesting inside and outside parliament and disrupting government’s development agenda,” he said.

Azad demanded a discussions against Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments, and questioned the government’s inaction in the Vyapam case.

As the ruckus continued, Kurien adjourned the house till noon. But when the house reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed and Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 12.15 p.m and then till 2.00 p.m.

The house reassembled at 2.00 p.m. but it was soon adjourned till 3 p.m. as the uproar continued. When the house finally assembled again at 3 p.m., Congress members continued creating ruckus and the house was adjourned for the day around 3.15 p.m.