NEW DELHI, March 14 (PTI): Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 1400hrs on Tuesday after opposition members caused uproar over the government’s demand for an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his democracy remarks.
The Upper House, which saw members cutting across party lines earlier during the session to congratulate India’s Oscar winners, witnessed noisy scenes when Leader of the House and union minister Piyush Goyal, without naming Gandhi, alleged that he had insulted the Parliament and constitutional institutions and said he should tender an apology.
Before Goyal was given the floor, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar rejected notices under Rule 267 by Congress members Pramod Tiwari, KC Venugopal, Kumar Ketkar, Neeraj Danghi, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Syed Naseer Hussain and Amee Yajnik to discuss the government’s failure to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate the charges of fraud, corruption and financial mismanagement by Adani Group companies.
Dhankhar also rejected notices by the BRS’ K Kesava Rao and the AAP’s Sanjay Singh to discuss the Hindenburg report on Adani Enterprises and other group companies, along with demands for discussions on the post-poll violence in Tripura and prohibition of online gambling and regulation of online games in Tamil Nadu by other members.
“To err is human… and sometimes, it takes place. We had such a seamless session because there was recognition to us all, through great feats at (the) Oscars. I thought this will be a day where notices may not be taken up,” the chairman said.
He rejected the notices saying the issues “are the ones that can be agitated (for) by other means”.
Rule 267 calls for suspension of the day’s business to take up an issue being mentioned in the notice.
Singh, along with another AAP member Sushil Kumar Gupta, trooped to the Well of the House to lodge their protest against the rejection of their notice.
Congress member Shaktisinh Gohil and his party colleagues also demonstrated in the Well, demanding a discussion on the Adani issue even as other members stood along the aisle and shouted slogans.
Dhankhar tried to pacify them, asking them to go back to their seats while giving the floor to Goyal.
“Yesterday (Monday), we had raised a very important issue and the manner in which India was insulted and its institutions, including the Parliament, were insulted.
“Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha are part of the Parliament, which have been insulted. I feel this is the first time that the entire Parliament was insulted,” Goyal told the House amid the uproar by opposition members.
He said “unnecessary and uncalled for” remarks were made by an MP on foreign soil against the Parliament, which includes the President of India.
“Constitutional provisions say that we all should condemn such behaviour and the person concerned should apologise,” Goyal said.
He also claimed that never have microphones in Parliament been switched off, as alleged by the opposition MP in London.
“The entire world is watching how India will respond to this serious issue. It is an insult to Parliament,” Goyal claimed.
Amid the continued uproar by opposition members, Dhankhar adjourned the House till 2 pm.
Gandhi, during his recent UK visit, had alleged that the structures of Indian democracy were under “brutal attack” and there was a full-scale assault on the country’s institutions.