New Delhi: The Lok Sabha was on Thursday virtually turned into an arena for placard battles between the Congress and the BJP, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to first adjourn the house till noon and later for the day.
The first two days of parliament’s monsoon session, which began on July 21, were also washed out due to several adjournments over the demand of the Congress and other opposition parties for the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and two BJP chief ministers.
The tussle between the treasury and opposition benches over the opposition demand escalated on Thursday as well, as a Bharatiya Janata Party member moved a privilege motion against Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, over his comments in a Facebook post.
As soon as the house met after the adjournment till noon, parliamentarians from the Congress and other parties were up on their feet, demanding action from the government over their demand for the resignation of the BJP leaders.
Several Congress members moved near the Speaker’s podium, carrying placards targeted at Sushma Swaraj and raising questions over the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The BJP members too rose from their seats and moved into the aisle, carrying placards that targeted the Congress on corruption.
Congress members occupied the space close the Speaker’s podium and raised slogans. At one point, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy was seen seemingly telling Congress member Deepender Hooda to give some space to BJP members near the podium.
BJP members stayed put for a while in the aisle but went back to their seats after an indication from Home Minister Rajnath Singh. However, they continued to show placards.
In the ruckus, BJP’s Prahlad Joshi spoke on his privilege motion against Vadra though his voice was largely inaudible.
Papers were laid in the House amid din as the Speaker asked members not to show placards.
She said some members wanted to speak, but the din continued amid slogan-shouting by Congress members.
“If you do not want to run the House, I will adjourn it,” she said and adjourned the house for the day.
Later, Joshi said he had moved the privilege motion against Vadra.
“In his (Vadra’s) Facebook post, he has belittled the image of parliament. That’s why I have moved the privilege motion against him,” said Joshi, BJP parliamentarian from Dharwad in Karnataka.
Earlier, the House was adjourned till noon after the Congress-led opposition raised a ruckus over the Vyapam recruitment scam and the controversy over BJP leaders’ association with former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi.
Within 10 minutes of the commencement of the Lower House’s proceedings, several members from the opposition parties took out placards and raised slogans.
Amid the din, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon. BJP member Arjun Ram Meghwal also spoke on his notice for a privilege motion.
The Congress and opposition parties are demanding the resignations of Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their alleged help to Lalit Modi, who is facing an Enforcement Directorate investigation.
They are demanding the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.