Rajya Sabha Adjourned For The Day Amid Opposition Protests Over Citizenship Amendment Act, National Population Register
Rajya Sabha proceedings were washed out on Monday as opposition members raised slogans against the government, demanding a debate on the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Population Register.
As soon as the House assembled at 3 p.m. after repeated adjournments, opposition members including those from the Congress, Trinamool Comgrees, CPM started raising slogans against the National Population Register and CAA demanding a debate on the issue.
They did not allow Bhupender Yadav to move the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address. Yadav said the Deputy Chairman Harivansh should ask the Leader of Opposition whether they want to run the House or not. The Deputy Chairman tried to pacify opposition members, saying they can raise the issue during the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on President's Address.
However, when members refused to relent and insisted on their demand the Deputy Chairman adjourned the House for day. Members also shouted slogans against alleged police brutality and incidence of firing on protestors agitating against the NPR and CAA recently.
Earlier when the House resumed its business at 2 p.m., the deputy chairman had to adjourn proceeding as Congress and TMC members continued shouting slogans and did not allow Yadav to move the Motion of Thanks on the President's address.
The deputy chairman also told protesting members that they can talk on the CAA issue and all related matters during the discussion on the Motion of Thanks. As Harivansh made repeated appeals to members to return to their seats and allow the House to function, Yadav said the House must be in order for him to proceed. However, as members were unrelenting and protests continued, Harivansh adjourned the House till 3 p.m.
Earlier when the House had reassembled at noon, members from Congress, TMC and Bahujan Samajwadi Party were up on their feet demanding an immediate discussion on CAA, National Population Register and the NRC. The deputy chairman said he cannot allow discussion on issues on which the chairman has already given a ruling on adjournment notices given by Opposition parties. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "I have a fundamental issue. We run the House based on rules. There is Rule 267 for discussion. Why there is such a rule in the book if it is not allowed."
The Chair did not yield to members' demand and began to take the Question Hour, but Opposition members were on the aisle while TMC members trooped into the Well protesting against CAA, NRC and NPR. Azad insisted that the discussion should be allowed because people are being allegedly killed in BJP-ruled states across the country. As there was no order in the House, the Chair was forced to adjourn the proceedings till 2 p.m.
In the morning, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu disallowed notices given by several opposition members to discuss the issue and then adjourned proceedings till noon after MPs belonging to the Congress, TMC, Left and BSP rose to raise the issue. Naidu said members will get enough opportunity to raise the issue during discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament.
The President's address had specific mention of the amended citizenship law and it can be discussed during the debate on the Motion of Thanks, he said. However, Satish Chandra Mishra of the BSP, Derek O'Brien of the TMC, TK Rangarajan of the CPM and other opposition members rose to speak on it. Naidu cut them short, saying he has already given a ruling on adjournment notices and cannot allow them to speak now.
As other opposition members joined them, Naidu adjourned proceedings. Naidu said he had received notices from leaders such as Azad and Anand Sharma of Congress, TMC leader O'Brien, Binoy Viswam of the CPI and others under Rule 267 seeking setting aside of the business of the day to take up discussion on issues related to NPR and CAA. Also, call attention notice has been received from Subramanian Swamy on related issue.
When the House met for the day at 11 a.m., Naidu read out an obituary reference on the passing away of Sultan of Oman Qaboos Bin Said Al Said and also on the death of 29 people and animals in Australia's bushfires. Members stood in silence as a mark of respect to departed souls. Naidu also mentioned sitting member MC Mary Kom being awarded the Padma Vibhushan, saying she is the first woman spokesperson of the country to be decorated with the award. He also mentioned the award being conferred on former members Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, George Fernandes and Manohar Parrikar.