Will Winter Session of Parliament be a washout?
New Delhi, Dec 22: The Winter Session of Parliament continues to be a stormy one as the Opposition remains hell-bent to get a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his "conspiracy with Pakistan" remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat Assembly elections.
Reports suggest that the PM is unlikely to apologise for the controversial comments he made against the former PM and others. Thus the impasse in both the Houses of Parliament continues.
On Friday, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day soon after it assembled as the Congress insisted that the impasse over the reported remarks by Modi against his predecessor should be resolved first.
Even the Lok Sabha witnessed uproar as Congress leaders raised slogans and demanded PM Modi's apology for remarks against Singh.
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 11 AM on 27th December amid uproar by Congress demanding PM Modi's apology for remarks against Dr.Manmohan Singh— ANI (@ANI) December 22, 2017
Uproar in Lok Sabha,Congress MPs raise slogans demanding PM Modi's apology for remarks against Dr.Manmohan Singh— ANI (@ANI) December 22, 2017
For the past week, the opposition has been demanding a clarification from the PM over his remarks made during the Gujarat election campaign against his predecessor and others.
As soon as the House assembled and papers were laid, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the House should be adjourned till afternoon so that a solution can be found to end the impasse prevailing in the House since the first day of its sitting on December 15.
He said two meetings of the panel headed by Leader of the House Arun Jaitley have taken place to find a solution.
"The House should be adjourned till a solution is found," he said, adding that the Congress members do not want to enter the Well to force adjournment.
Azad said the opposition too wants the House to function and carry out legislative business.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel suggested that the House should continue to function and in the meantime, a solution is found.
"This is not such an issue that a solution cannot be found," he said, adding, the Rajya Sabha did function for a day even during the impasse.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma too insisted that the House should be adjourned without any disruption.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu tried to continue with the Zero Hour proceedings, but as the Congress did not budge, he adjourned the House for the day.
Rajya Sabha will now meet again on December 27, after the long weekend and Christmas break. Earlier the Chairman had allowed two members to raise points of order.
While TMC member Derek O'Brien raised the issue of a brief "blackout" of Rajya Sabha TV telecast on Thursday, SP member Naresh Agarwal demanded a hike in the salaries of MPs.
O'Brien said the telecast was stopped at 2.13 pm on Thursday when Congress members were protesting over Modi's remarks against Singh and others.
These are "democratic scenes", so let the people watch it, he said, adding that this is also part of parliamentary democracy. O'Brien urged the Chair that the live broadcast should not be shut down.
To this, Naidu said "this is a suggestion" and not a point of order.
Agarwal then demanded that the salaries of MPs should be increased and said the possible criticism by the media for this, should not be a factor while deciding on the salary hike. He said media persons also get hefty salaries.
He demanded for a response from the government on the issue. Naidu said he will bring the matter to the notice of Jaitley.
Earlier, members paid obituary to Jalaludin Ansari who died on December 17. Ansari was member of the House from April 1994 to April 2000.
The Winter Session of Parliament started on December 15. It will last till January 5, 2018.
Before the start of the Winter Session, the government expressed its plan to table and pass 14 bills. However, looking at the regular disruptions and adjournments it looks unlikely that all the bills would be passed in the ongoing session.