Protests continue to rock RS, Naidu says taking House to new low

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By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
July 31, 2021 4:19:13 am

PROTESTS BY opposition parties over issues relating to Pegasus spyware, farm laws and price rise continued to rock Rajya Sabha on Friday, despite a stern warning from Chairman Venkaiah Naidu that action will be taken if the protesting MPs compromise parliamentary dignity.

Amid the din, which forced three adjournments, the government introduced two Bills – the Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021. It also managed to ensure passage of the Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021 by a voice vote.

Opening House proceedings earlier in the day, Naidu said, “It has been brought to my notice that some members are whistling in the House, others are putting their hands on the shoulders of marshals and some members are taking their placards and going standing in front of the ministers. I am very concerned about this.”

“We are taking the House to a new low and making the House like a bazaar. Protesting is a part of processes in Parliament and you can do so. But you must maintain the dignity of the House. There are two paths that can be taken – to allow things to continue the way they are, or take action. I request all members to maintain the sanctity and dignity of the House. There is a limit to patience… please do not test the patience of the House,” the Chairman said.

The morning session began with Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan reading out a list of government business to be taken up next week.

This was followed by Congress MP K C Venugopal saying he has submitted a privilege notice against Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar for giving a reply in the House that there were no deaths caused by oxygen shortage. “The MoS Health’s reply is against facts,’’said Venugopal, to which Naidu responded that he will look into the notice. TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy then said that no issues have been allowed under Rule 267 in the past five years.

Soon the opposition members started their protests, prompting the Chairman to adjourn the House – barely 10 minutes after proceedings began – till noon. The protests continued when the House met again for Question Hour.

Barely had Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary had started answering a couple of questions when the loud sloganeering in the Well of the House forced another adjournment – around 10 minutes into the proceedings – till 2.30 pm.

The ruckus continued when the House reassembled for the afternoon session. However, the government managed to introduce the two Bills.

The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill seeks to encourage the startup ecosystem and further boost ease of doing business in the country. It seeks to decriminalise 12 offences under the law and help improve the ease of doing business by amending the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008.

The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill aims to provide timely support to depositors of stressed banks.

As the opposition protests continued Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh adjourned the House till 11 am on Monday.

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