After disruptions, Lok Sabha witnesses smooth sailing
The Lok Sabha witnessed peaceful proceedings for the first time this week in its post lunch sitting on Thursday, after sloganeering and protests marred the morning session with the Congress demanding withdrawal of suspension of its six MPs and a debate on mob lynchings.
Soon after the House met, Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav of Rashtriya Janata Dal raised the issue of the Janata Dal-United leaving the 'Grand Alliance' in Bihar and forming a new government with the BJP. Yadav was seen shouting from his seat, calling it a "murder of democracy".
Soon after, Congress members were seen raising slogans demanding revocation of the suspension on their six MPs, and demanding a debate on mob lynchings.
The House then saw a brief adjournment of around 25 minutes.
As the House met again, the Question Hour proceeded amid sloganeering, and Congress members who were standing near the Speaker's podium were seen displaying placards.
After the Question Hour, the Speaker allowed opposition members to speak on the issue. She said she was not against the debate on mob lynchings.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the party had first given a notice for a short duration debate under Rule 193 on June 5, and subsequently notices were given under adjournment motion.
Kharge also said that the Speaker, during a meeting with the Congress members, had said that she is ready for debate, but the government needs to be convinced.
Speaker Mahajan said Kharge was twisting her words, and added "I said I am ready for debate but everyone has to be ready."
Kharge interrupted, saying the Congress would not ask for revoking the suspension of their six MPs.
"We will not ask about revoking suspension" - to which Mahajan said they have "not yet apologised".
"What do you mean by saying you will not ask about it? You have not even apologised yet," Mahajan said.
As Kharge asked for the debate, he was joined by Sudip Bandyopadhyay of Trinamool Congress, who said if possible, the discussion should start on Thursday itself.
"Mob lynching is a serious issue. We must start the discussion immediately, if possible, today," he said.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Mohammed Salim meanwhile raised his pitch and questioned why the issue was not being debated under the adjournment motion despite it being an important issue.
"For the last two weeks, we have been submitting notices under adjournment motion. Fifty persons have been killed in mob lynching. People are living in fear. If we don't discuss it who will?" said Salim.
"Should we take adjournment motion out of the rule books? A 16-year-old boy is being killed and we are not discussing it... what are we doing here?" Salim said.
Mahajan said: "I have not denied debate on any issue. I did not say adjournment motions should not be admitted, I only said I will not suspend Question Hour."
"In matters as this, everyone should be taken on board," she said.
Parliamentary Affairs MInister Ananth Kumar meanwhile said that the opposition wanted to discuss violence that was occurring outside, but did not want to speak on the incident that took place in the House when paper bits were thrown at the Speaker.
"Just asking to revoke suspension will not help... I would also request Mohammed Salim, you want to discuss the violence outside, but what happened in the House, was it right? This is the temple of democracy, the Speaker is the head, and on her paper bits were thrown. If they would have done it outside they would have been charged under IPC. We are ready for debate but we will not allow this in the House," he said.
The Speaker then took up Zero Hour mentions, as opposition members continued to raise slogans.
The House was later adjourned for lunch.
Post lunch, the House resumed proceedings in peace for the first time in the week, and The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2016 was passed. - IANS