NEW DELHI — The proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were adjourned on the second consecutive day Thursday amid continued protests by opposition parties on several issues, including alleged corruption in the Rafale jet deal, construction of Ram temple and Cauvery river water.
Thursday was the third day of the Winter session. While on day one, both the Houses were adjourned after paying obituary to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Union minister Ananth Kumar and some sitting members, the second day on Wednesday saw protests by the opposition.
The Rajya Sabha on Thursday was adjourned for the day without transacting any business following protests by Tamil Nadu parties inside the well over the Cauvery river issue.
No sooner had the House paid its respects to the nine persons who laid down their lives 17 years back when terrorist attacked the Parliament House complex and the listed papers presented, members belonging to the AIADMK and DMK trooped into the well of the House shouting slogans.
"Protect the right of Tamil Nadu," read the placards held by protesting members.
A couple of members from Andhra Pradesh too were in the well demanding special status for the state.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu warned that he would be forced to adjourn the proceedings for the day if members did not return to their seats and allow the House to function.
"I would like to urge members to at least allow the House today... 9 persons had laid down their lives to protect Parliament. Wrong message will go," he said.
He said discussion on all issues including on Cauvery river issue will be allowed.
As his repeated pleas to members to allow the House to function fell on deaf years, he adjourned the proceedings till Friday.
The Lok Sabha also witnessed repeated adjournments amid opposition protests. The House was adjourned twice in the Question Hour. It was later adjourned for the day during Zero Hour where only two members got a chance to speak.
Besides opposition members, ruling BJP's ally Shiv Sena also held protests in the House demanding law for construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
Speaking in the House, party leader Anandrao Adsul said the BJP got full majority but "forgot" Hindutva, which was the main reason for the alliance between the two parties.
As the protests continued, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked members to allow the House to function but in vain.
The House was then adjourned for the day.
Earlier as soon as the Question Hour began after paying tributes to martyrs of the 2001 Parliament attack, members from the Congress, TDP and AIADMK rushed to the Well raising slogans, following which the Speaker adjourned the House.
TDP member Venkateshwara Rao (Babu) used a mike installed in the Well for the oath of a new member to prop up a poster seeking special status for Andhra Pradesh.
A Lok Sabha secretariat staffer tried to convince him not to use the mike. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar too tried to convince him to keep down the mike.
The TDP member's action invited the ire of Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who warned him that he will be named.
Once a member is named, he or she has to leave the House chamber.
Congress member Sunil Jakhar was seen wearing a neon reflective vest while standing in the Well.
The Speaker then adjourned the House for nearly 10 minutes till 11.20 am.
When the House assembled again, Mahajan reminded members that they can raise issues under various rules.
Apparently referring to the Lok Sabha polls due in 2019, she said it was a "crucial time" and members should use it to raise issues related to the public.
She said the Lok Sabha is for all states and regions and all should get a chance to raise their respective issues.
But opposition members remained unconvinced and returned to the Well.
As the bedlam continued, the House was adjourned for nearly 30 minutes till noon.