New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Both houses of parliament were disrupted again on Friday, washing out the first week of the monsoon session without transacting any major business.
In a reminder of the 15th Lok Sabha that witnessed maximum disruptions, both houses, for the fourth consecutive day, saw the government and the opposition trading charges.
Those alligned to the government in a unique show sat on a protest dharna in the parliament complex, demanding that the two houses should function.
The opposition, on the other hand, asked to whom were the protesting ruling alliance members pitching their demands.
The Congress also trained its guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for keeping a “conspiratorial silence” on the Lalit Modi controversy and the resultant parliament logjam.
While the Lok Sabha was adjourned soon after it met for the day at 11 a.m., the Rajya Sabha witnessed several adjournments, before it was finally adjourned for the day at 2.30 p.m.
The opposition is demanding the resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for helping former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi, and of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Sivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.
The government, meanwhile, made it clear there would be no resignations, also adding that state issues would not be raised in parliament. Treasury benches in both houses pressed for taking up a debate on the controversy surrounding Sushma Swaraj.
As soon as the lower house assembled in the morning, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said she has received adjournment motions from the opposition on the controversy about BJP leaders’ closeness with former Lalit Modi as well as on the Vyapam scam.
However, the speaker dismissed the adjournment motions, and the resultant din forced her to adjourn the Lok Sabha for the day.
In the Rajya Sabha, where the opposition is in a majority, heated exchanges between the treasury and opposition benches were witnessed, with members from both sides creating ruckus.
The opposition did not even allow private member’s business, which is usually spared from protests, to be taken up.
As the house met, Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said a notice has been submitted.
“Who asked for Lalit Modi to be helped? Is the government going to sack Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje or not,” Tiwari asked.
The Congress members then shouted slogans and demanded the resignations of the BJP leaders, while the ruling party members insisted that a debate be taken up immediately.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the ruling party members were disrupting the house.
The din continued through the day, and the house was first adjourned till noon, then till 2.30 before being adjourned for the day.
The government, which had decided before the session to give an aggressive retaliation to the opposition, in a unique show staged a protest in the parliament complex here, urging the Congress to let the ongoing monsoon session go on smoothly, and accusing the Congress government in Uttarakhand of corruption.
On the other hand, the opposition criticised the BJP leaders for sitting on a dharna.
“It is the opposition that has the right to oppose, sit on a dharna and to demand action from the government. But today (Friday), the ruling party sat on a dharna,” Ghulam Nabi Azad told media persons.
The Congress later questioned the prime minister’s silence on the issue.
“The prime minister is the leader of the country and not just the party (BJP). He should have sent a message. Does the prime minister of this country wait for two months for parliament to convene to speak,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
He said that though Modi was active in all social fora like networking sites, he has not so far spoken on the Lalit Modi issue as well as the Vyapam scam.