Rajya Sabha witnesses repeated disruptions

New Delhi


The Rajya Sabha continued to witness disruptions on Friday as ruling and opposition parties failed to reach a consensus on how to take up for discussion the controversy surrounding former IPL chief Lalit Modi and the Vyapam scam.

The Congress, supported by some other opposition parties, has been demanding the resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their association with the former Indian premier League chairman, while Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is embroiled in the Vyapam scam controversy.

While the second half of the day saw some signs of dialogue between the ruling and opposition benches, with both agreeing to postpone the day's private members' business for the next session, the house did not see any work throughout the day.

On Friday morning, soon after the house mourned the death of its former member Sarada Mohanty and papers were laid on the table, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said he had received four notices for the suspension of business to take up discussion.

"Earlier also, I agreed to suspend business (on similar notice) but the motion was not moved. What is the point," he said and asked Congress members if they were ready to move the motion on Friday.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said that while the motions of the past were past, the motions moved on Friday were independent motions.

"We are well within our rights to bring motions and demand action," Anand Sharma said, adding that the Narendra Modi government had not been responding to the opposition demands.

The government maintained that it was ready for discussion, making clear that no resignations would take place.

The house witnessed a din and was adjourned till 12 noon, followed by a second adjournment till 1 p.m. and then till 2.30 p.m.

When the upper house met at 2.30 p.m., the government and the opposition showed unanimity in postponing the day's private members' business to the next session.

Kurien welcomed the agreement between the two sides, and said more efforts should be made to resolve the logjam.

"If there is an effort for resolving the stalemate it is welcome. My request is, let there be a genuine effort. This interaction was good; they showed they had some interest in solving the problem," he said while referring to the agreement.

Leader of the Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said, "If the government takes up discussion on the basis of a submitted notice we have no problem."

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, meanwhile, urged the opposition to cooperate, stating that the government wanted to make the opposition a partner in development.

There was a ruckus again in the house before it adjourned for the day.

Friday marks the end of the second week of the monsoon session of parliament which started on July 21.

The first two weeks have not witnessed any major transaction of business. - IANS