- Complaint was against chairperson - Vice President Venkaiah Naidu
- "We are not intruding in government business": Ghulam Nabi Azad
- Opposition leaders united to protest against "abrupt" adjournment
"We are not intruding in government business," said senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. Arguing that the chairpersons have traditionally been "accommodating" for smooth conduction of business, he said now they are not allowed raise these issues in the Zero Hour. "They (the chairpersons) get up and adjourn the house. Our voice is being muzzled," he added.
Earlier today, Rajya Sabha was adjourned during the Zero Hour - 11 am to noon -- after BJP ally Telugu Desam Party requested a suspension of business under a particular rule. TDP lawmaker CM Ramesh, who made the request, also proposed a discussion on the promises made to Andhra Pradesh government during the bifurcation of Telangana and the special development packages promised to the state.
Vociferous protests followed, with opposition leaders uniting to protest against what they called an "abrupt" adjournment and one that was against rules and traditions.
Vice-Chairman PJ Kurien tried to calm the lawmakers, saying it is the prerogative of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha on notices he allows. The lawmakers, he said, could meet Mr Naidu in his chamber with their issues but no discussion will be allowed on the floor of the House.
The Samajwadi Party, Telugu Desam Party, Trinamool Congress and the Congress boycotted parliament for the rest of the day in protest.
Earlier today, Mr Naidu had refused to allow notices given by TMC, TDP and the Congress. Mr O'Brien was seen in the House waving a paper, saying, "Governor of the State can't interfere..."
Senior Samajwadi Party lawmaker Naresh Agarwal accused the Chairman of the Upper House of being "partial" and alleged that the House was being run by the BJP. Much later, they clarified that they did not mean to cast aspersions about Mr Naidu, but "this is not the way Rajya Sabha is run".
Since the presentation of the Union budget last week, the opposition had launched a concerted attack on the government in Rajya Sabha, where they are a majority. Yesterday, on the floor of the house, Mr Azad had accused the government of treating opposition leaders as "potential terrorists" and tapping their phones.
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