Congress protests in Lok Sabha, Speaker says murder of democracy


New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday witnessed protests and sloganeering from the Congress during the pre-lunch session over its demand for the resignation of three BJP leaders. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan called it “murder of democracy”. download (1)

The Speaker also asked Lok Sabha TV to show the protests so that people can see the scenes for themselves.

Soon after the house met in the morning, members of the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal came near the Speaker’s podium, carrying placards regarding their demands and started shouting slogans.

It continued throughout question hour, with the Speaker making it clear that she will not adjourn the house.

She repeatedly asked members to take their seats.

“A wrong message is going to the country. You are giving wrong message. About 40-50 MPs are snatching away the right of 440 members. Go to your seats…,” Mahajan said.

“This is not the way. This is murder of democracy. This is not democracy. Please show it (on LS TV) so that the entire country sees 40-50 members are disrupting proceedings,” she said.

But Congress and some other opposition parties continued their protest.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi were present in the house during the party’s protest.

The Speaker asked SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to speak after question hour. When he started speaking, his MPs returned to their seats, deserting their Congress colleagues.

Yadav spoke amid the din created by the Congress members and said the government should release the caste census. He was supported by RJD member Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav.

As the Congress members kept raising slogans and showing placards, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu urged the Speaker to take action.

“Let action be taken. They are going to Speaker’s house…People have given their verdict and have rejected them,” Naidu said.

The Congress and some other opposition parties are demanding the resignation of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over the Lalit Modi issue and of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.

The Samajwadi Party members are demanding that the government should notify the caste census.

At one point, BJP members started raising slogans against the Congress leadership. However, they were stopped by Naidu.

While members of Congress, SP, RJD and CPI-M went near the Speaker’s podium, some other opposition members conveyed their support to the protest by not taking their seats.

The Speaker had last week suspended 25 Congress MPs for not observing rules.