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Rajya Sabha adjourned till Monday amid uproar

Leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge sought to speak but was not allowed, triggering an uproar by the members of the Congress and other opposition parties.

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NEW DELHI, March 17 (PTI): The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till Monday, minutes after the House was convened as the opposition and ruling party members created an uproar.

While the opposition has been demanding a discussion and a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Adani issue, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members are demanding an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his “democracy-under-threat” remarks made in London recently.

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Soon after the listing of papers, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said he had received 11 adjournment notices under Rule 267, but disallowed those.

“After carefully going through the issues, the notices, I find, cannot be allowed,” he said.

Thereafter, leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge sought to speak but was not allowed, triggering an uproar by the members of the Congress and other opposition parties.

The members of the treasury benches also stood up in protest.

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Taking up the point of order raised by Kharge, the chairman directed leader of the House Piyush Goyal to authenticate the assertions made by him on March 13 and 14.

“With respect to the point of order raised by the leader of the opposition, I find it expedient to direct the leader of the House to authenticate the assertions made by him on March 13 and 14 on the issue during the course of the day,” Dhankhar said.

Amid slogan shouting, the chairman adjourned the House till Monday.

The Upper House of Parliament has not transacted any business since the second part of the budget session began on Monday due to uproarious scenes in the House.

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Opposition MPs Neeraj Dangi, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Kumar Ketkar, Syed Naseer Hussain, Amee Yajnik, and Sandosh Kumar P had given notices to discuss the government’s failure to constitute a JPC on charges of corporate fraud, stock market manipulation, and financial mismanagement against the Adani Group, a business conglomerate headed by industrialist Gautam Adani.

Notices were also given by Ranjeet Ranjan, KC Venugopal, Sanjay Singh, and Pramod Tiwari to discuss the government’s “questionable” role in promoting the business interests of the Adani Group.

Dhankhar said Elamaram Kareem has raised a demand to discuss the Hindenburg report on the Adani Group, which has put government deposits in public-sector banks and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India in danger.

A notice was also received from Jebi Mather beyond the stipulated time and, therefore, it was not considered, the chairman said.

Soon after the Rajya Sabha met for the day, the chairman conveyed his birthday greetings to MP Jaggesh, saying he has been a Kannada actor and a member of the House since July 2022 and had also been a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council earlier.

In his obituary reference, Dhankhar informed the House about the demise of two-time former member Karnendu Bhattacharjee on December 23, 2022.

Bhattacharjee was a Rajya Sabha member from Assam from April 1996 to 2008 and a pioneer of the cooperative movement in the northeastern state. He was also a member of the Assam Legislative Assembly.

“With his untimely death, the country has lost a doyen of the cooperative movement and an able parliamentarian. We deeply mourn his passing,” the chairman said as the members stood in silence for a few moments in Bhattacharjee’s memory.

Making a statement, minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Muraleedharan listed the business of the House for the week starting March 20 and said according to government business, the House will hold a discussion on the functioning of the ministries of skill development, rural development, cooperation, textiles, new and renewable energy, fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy, and railways.

Besides, he said the government business in the House includes taking up the demands for grants for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the consideration and return of an appropriation bill relating to final and supplementary demands after it is passed by the Lok Sabha.

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