Parliament Proceedings Of The Week Washed Out Due To Protests

This was the first week of the second leg of Budget Session of Parliament, in which the Finance Bill 2018, Demands for Grants are slated to be passed.

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Parliament Proceedings Of The Week Washed Out Due To Protests

Lok Sabha was on Friday adjourned for the day soon after it met (PTI)

New Delhi:  The proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were virtually washed out for the entire week, as the Lok Sabha was on Friday adjourned for the day soon after it met and the Rajya Sabha in the afternoon following unabated protests by the opposition parties and ruling NDA allies TDP and AIADMK over various issues.

This was the first week of the second leg of the Budget Session of Parliament, in which the Finance Bill 2018 and Demands for Grants are slated to be passed.

The Lok Sabha proceedings were washed out for the fifth straight day as members of several parties including TDP and AIADMK, continued their protests over various issues.

While opposition Congress and Trinamool Congress were up in arms against the government over the Rs 12,700 crore fraud at the country's second largest PSU lender PNB, Andhra Pradesh parties -- TDP and YSR Congress -- continued to press for special status to be granted to the state.

Disappointed over the Centre not granting the status, the TDP had on Thursday pulled out its two ministers -- Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Choudhary -- from the Narendra Modi-led government. However, the party continues to be an NDA ally.

While the AIADMK was demanding setting up of the Cauvery Board to settle water disputes with neighbouring states, few others were seen holding placards of Dravidian movement founder Thanthai Periyar, whose statue was defaced recently in Tamil Nadu. The TRS pressed for increased quota of Telangana.

When the Lok Sabha met for the day, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan welcomed a parliamentary delegation from South Korea. Tributes were also paid to former members Prabodh Panda, Shyama Singh and Bhanu Kumar Shastri who died recently.

Soon thereafter, the members of various parties trooped into the Well carrying placards and raising slogans, prompting the Speaker to remark that after a minute of silence, the House was again witnessing din.

Members from AIADMK, TDP and YSR Congress were in the Well holding placards. Mr Raju, senior TDP leader who had quit as the civil aviation minister, was also seen standing in the Well with his party colleagues demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh. Like others, he too was wearing a stole depicting his party's colour. While one TDP MP was holding an idol, another had donned a colourful traditional headgear.

Amid the din, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings of the Lok Sabha were adjourned for nearly 50 minutes when the Question Hour was in progress till noon.

At noon, the noisy protests continued and the House was adjourned for the day soon after the listed papers were laid.

Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha too, where the proceedings were disrupted again on Friday as members of several parties stormed the Well over various issues including India's biggest bank scam and special package for Andhra Pradesh, no sooner were the listed papers laid.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not wait long enough and adjourned the proceedings till 1430 hours. "One week has gone waste. This is no good. This is sad," he commented before adjourning the proceedings.

Before the House saw its first adjournment, Mr Naidu announced the nomination of JD(U) member Kahkashan Parveen on the panel of presiding officers to conduct the proceedings of the House, making her the first woman to be included in the panel in the recent times.

The historic move came a day after the International Women's Day when the members had expressed concern that there was no woman member in this panel, which was agreed to by the Chairman.

Referring to this, Mr Naidu said that in deference to the wishes of members expressed on the occasion of International Women's Day yesterday, he is nominating Ms Parveen on the panel with effect from April 3.

According to the Upper House rules, the chairman nominates from amongst the members up to six vice-chairmen or presiding officers who chair the proceedings in absence of the chairman and the deputy chairman.

Ms Parveen would replace Basawaraj Patil, whose term expires on April 2, Mr Naidu said, adding that she has been a mayor and the chairperson of the Bihar Mahila Aayog.

Mr Naidu, who is also Vice President of India, is the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, while PJ Kurien of Congress is the Deputy Chairman. The panel of vice-chairmen or presiding officers includes Satyanarayan Jatiya (BJP), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), T K Rangarajan (CPI-M), Bhubaneswar Kalita (Congress), Basawaraj Patil (BJP) and Sukhendu Sekhar Ray (Trinamool Congress).

When senior Congress member Viplove Thakur who had demanded the inclusion of a woman in the presiding officer's panel yesterday, rose to thank him, Mr Naidu, in a lighter vein, said he wanted to nominate Mr Thakur, but she would have lost her voice in the panel.

"Viplove, in our language, means revolution," he said. Mr Naidu's native language is Telugu.

When the Upper House reassembled at 1430 hours and took up the Private Members' Business, Pramod Tewari (Cong) tried to raise a point of order on the issue of the banking scam. However, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien disallowed him from doing so and asked him to persuade his protesting party colleagues to return to their seats from the Well.

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However, members of the Congress, TDP and AIADMK continued to be in the Well raising slogans. This prompted Mr Kurien to adjourn the House for the day.

Today being Friday, Private members' business was listed in the afternoon. There was no official bill listed in the business for the day.

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