New Delhi: A logjam over the BJP’s demand for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s apology for his “democracy under attack” remark made in London and the Opposition’s call for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Adani issue hampered Parliament’s functioning for the third consecutive day on Wednesday. Both Houses were adjourned following chaos and slogan shouting by the Opposition and the Treasury Benches.
Amid sloganeering, minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt introduced the Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill 2023 in the Lok Sabha. The bill empowers the Commander-in-Chief or the Officer-in-Command of the Inter-Services Organisations to maintain discipline and the proper discharge of duties among those under or attached to the command.
In the uproar over the BJP’s demand for Mr Gandhi’s apology for his London remarks, the Rajya Sabha proceedings were disrupted for the third day in a row.
When the Upper House resumed for the afternoon session following an adjournment earlier in the day, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar gave the floor to Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge.
However, Mr Kharge, who said the Opposition has been repeatedly demanding a JPC probe into the Adani issue and sought to raise the matter of the Opposition parties’ march to the ED office, could not complete his remark as the BJP members shouted that Mr Gandhi must apologise for his remarks discrediting the country.
Mr Dhankhar then asked the Leader of the House Piyush Goyal to control his team. However, the sloganeering continued. “If in this House we do not express, where will we express? The Leader of the Opposition wanted to say something he should have heard… I would urge everyone to observe order and listen to him,” Mr Dhankhar said.
As Mr Kharge tried to speak again, the members of the ruling party resumed their sloganeering. He could not complete his speech in the din, forcing the Chairman to adjourn the proceedings of the House for the day.
Earlier in the day, soon after the laying of papers, Mr Dhankhar said he had received 11 notices in seven categories under Rule 267 for suspension of business, but before he could give a ruling on the notices, the BJP members raised the apology demand. This led to pandemonium in the House, with the Opposition members raising their voices to reject the demand.
In the Lok Sabha, members of the Opposition parties stormed into the Well of the House, raising placards and slogans, demanding a JPC probe into the Adani matter, while the BJP MPs continued to press for an apology from Mr Gandhi. “Mr Gandhi’s comments are the height of insult to Parliament. To go abroad and speak of India like this… India is a sovereign nation and to seek the intervention of foreign countries is a severe insult to the country,” said Union minister Prahlad Joshi.
The Congress, however, has put the blame on the ruling dispensation for the logjam. “Today too, Parliament got adjourned because the Modi government is refusing the Opposition’s demand for JPC into PM-linked Adani MahaMegaScam. The Supreme Court committee is no substitute,” said Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh.
In the morning, President Droupadi Murmu hosted Members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Haryana for breakfast at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
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