Protests over the Karnataka crisis disrupt Parliament

Protests over the Karnataka crisis disrupt Parliament

New Delhi: Opposition MPs raise slogans and walk out of Lok Sabha; Rajya Sabha adjourned amid ruckus

The Rajya Sabha witnessed its first adjournment on Tuesday in the inaugural session of the second term of Narendra Modi government over the Karnataka political crisis.

The issue rocked the Lok Sabha also, with Congress MPs staging a walkout after accusing the BJP of indulging in a “politics of poaching”. Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi raised slogans against the ruling party. MPs of the DMK also walked out.

There was an uproar in the Upper House, with Congress members storming the Well of the House and raising slogans, leading to an adjournment for the day. Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said he had received a notice under Rule 267 to suspend Question Hour to discuss the Karnataka crisis but he was disallowing it.

“I have received two notices for suspension of Question Hour…one is from B.K. Hariprasad and others, and, the other is from Ms. Dola Sen (Trinamool Congress) and others. Of the two notices, one is connected with Karnataka, I am not allowing it; but if the Members wish, I can allow it during Zero Hour,” Mr. Naidu said.

“As far as the issue mentioned by Ms. Sen is concerned, the same issue has been discussed in Zero Hour on the very first day of this Session. The same issue has been discussed on June 21. As per the Rules, you cannot discuss the same issue twice in the same Session, and, that is why, I have not allowed it,” Mr. Naidu said. Ms. Sen had raised the issue of divestment of 42 Public Sector Units.

Protests in the Rajya Sabha by members of the Congress, TMC, CPI and CPI(M) erupted as soon as it reconvened at 2 p.m. following two adjournments earlier in the day. The House was adjourned within three minutes as the ruckus continued.

Rajnath intervenes
The Congress had tried to raise the issue in the Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour, but was disallowed by Speaker Om Birla, who said the matter had been discussed in the House on Monday with a response from Deputy Leader of House Rajnath Singh.

Mr. Birla said the Congress had given an adjournment motion to discuss the Karnataka issue, which he has disallowed.

With the Speaker refusing to relent, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said the BJP was targeting the Karnataka government, which is on a brink of collapse after the Congress, JD(S) and some independent MLAs tendered their resignations.

Hitting back, Mr. Rajnath Singh reiterated that the Karnataka issue was an internal matter of the Congress. “The Congress cannot get its House in order and is disrupting the Lower House,” he said.

Earlier, Congress members entered the Well and raised slogans, accusing the BJP of throttling democracy. Mr. Chowdhury said, “The politics of poaching should be stopped. The politics of targeting should be stopped. Today it is Karnataka and tomorrow it will be Madhya Pradesh.”

“You (the ruling party) say you have no role in (destabilising government) in Karnataka. But when an MLA comes out of Raj Bhavan, there is a car ready for him, when he is at the airport, there is an aircraft ready for him…,” an exasperated Mr. Chowdhury said and staged a walkout along with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Gandhi.