Wednesday May 22, 2019
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Ruckus in Rajya Sabha over National Herald case

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New Delhi: The National Herald case stalled the Rajya Sabha for the second day on Wednesday, with Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad blaming the government for misusing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in getting the case reopened.

“ED had shut the case. Subramanian Swamy and the government got it reopened,” Azad said.

“We have no charges against the judiciary… It is not the fault of the court, but of this government… which changed the ED who reopened the case. So my charge is that on the direction of the government, the cases against all opposition leaders are being reopened, even if they are small cases,” he said.

Azad’s comments came just before the house was adjourned for the day around 3.15 p.m.

“Democracy is being murdered so this is the best platform to raise the issue, in the temple of democracy,” he said.

He was countered by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who said the opposition should start a discussion.

Earlier, disruptions started as soon as the house met at 11 am when Congress members stormed the chairman’s podium raising the issue of summons to party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.

The Congress members chanted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Members of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) also protested against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on the Polavaram project, a multi-purpose dam in Andhra Pradesh whose reservoir spreads into parts of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

They trooped near the chairman’s podium and held placards demanding that work on the Polavaram Dam project be stopped.

Amid the din, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourned the house till 11.30 a.m.

When the house reassembled, Congress and BJD members went close to the chairman’s podium and again shouted slogans.

Congress members were shouting slogans like “Modi teri tanashahi, nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi”.

Meanwhile, Naqvi said: “The Congress party is stalling the development of the country. Whistleblowers protection bill and ST/SC (prevention of atrocities) amendment bill are listed in today’s business.”

“If the Congress party feels any kind of discrimination, we are ready to discuss. They are protesting inside and outside parliament and disrupting government’s development agenda,” he said.

Azad demanded a discussion against Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments and questioned the government’s inaction in the Vyapam case.

As the ruckus continued, Kurien adjourned the house till noon. But when the house reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed and Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 12.15 p.m and then till 2.00 p.m.

The house reassembled at 2.00 p.m. but it was soon adjourned till 3 p.m. as the uproar continued. When the house finally assembled again at 3 p.m., Congress members continued creating ruckus and the house was adjourned for the day around 3.15 p.m.(IANS)

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Quota Reservation Bill Moved in Rajya Sabha

The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill was passed after a division with 323 members voting in its favour and three against in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday

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The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till afternoon following protests by opposition members amidst a demand that the Constitution bill providing for upper castes reservation be sent to a Select Committee for detailed consideration even as the government sought to push ahead with its passage on the last day of the winter session on Wednesday.

With Lok Sabha having passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) bill providing for 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections among the general category in government service and higher educational institutions, Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot moved it for consideration in the upper House.

CPI member D. Raja, who objected to the consideration of the bill, demanded that it be sent to a Select Committee and the House should first take a decision on it.

Madhusudhan Mistry of Congress said the Bill was not complete and told the government that it cannot have both introduction and voting on the same day. He asked what was the urgency in the passage of the Bill.

Members were also protesting against the “unilateral” extension of the session till Wednesday saying it was done without consulting the opposition. They said the Chair did not announce a day’s extension in the working days of the House nor did it seek the members’ consent.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the Congress was raising technical issues to stall the Bill. “If you openly oppose the Bill, it is different. Otherwise, let’s have a discussion on it as it has already been introduced,” he said.

Quota reservation bill moved in Rajya Sabha.

Moving the Bill, Gehlot said the Constitution does not allow reservation on economic basis and due to that poor people in general category miss out on opportunities.

“There was a complaint by poor of the general category that they could not avail of government benefits. The decision has been taken after much consideration. This bill will uplift the poor,” he said.

He appealed to the members to pass the bill unanimously. This was followed by the start of the debate by BJP member Prabhat Jha. But as shouting and uproar continued, Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House till 2 p.m.

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The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill was passed after a division with 323 members voting in its favour and three against in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day too, the House was adjourned once up to noon after protests by members on the “unilateral” extension. (IANS)