During the Monsoon Session of Parliament, both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned as MPs protested over the Pegasus controversy.
Leaders of the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal hit out at the government on the contentious farm laws, those of the Trinamool Congress gathered near the Speaker’s podium raising the Pegasus snooping issue. They sought answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned repeatedly as MPs rushed into the Wells of the House debating over the Pegasus snooping dispute. Huge emotional excitement increased in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for the third straight day of the monsoon session today as opposition MPs staged protests over a range of issues, including the Pegasus snooping controversy and today’s I-T raids on media houses.
In the Rajya Sabha, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was compelled to cut short his statement on the row by the bickering among opposition members.
When Mr. Vaishnaw rose to speak on Pegasus, Trinamool MP Shantanu Sen seized his papers, split them apart, and flung them at Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh. This caused the minister to lay the paper on the table instead.
Fiery words were exchanged between Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and the Trinamool MP. Marshals had to intervene to bring the condition under restraint.
The Rajya Sabha was later adjourned till tomorrow, the third time through the day. It was first adjourned till 12 noon and then till 2 pm after MPs trooped into the well of the House raising slogans and holding placards. “Members seem to be not interested in discussing people’s issues,” Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said, adjourning the proceedings earlier in the day.
RJD member Manoj Jha later said the IT minister’s attitude was “unfortunate”.
“The way the IT Minister made a statement amidst the uproar, it seems that the government only wanted to make a mockery of this issue,” Mr. Jha said.
The Rajya Sabha was later adjourned till tomorrow, the third time through the day.
Neither did the Lok Sabha have an uninterrupted day. It was adjourned thrice, the last time till 4 pm.
Question Hour barely lasted 12 minutes before Speaker Om Birla adjourned the House till 12 noon. Bhartruhari Mahtab, who took the Chair later, adjourned it for a second time after protesting members ignored his plea to return to their seats and discuss matters.
The protests continued despite Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi saying the government was ready to discuss any topic. “The Rajya Sabha had a discussion on Covid…We are ready for discussion on whatever topic you want…Question Hour is a right of every member,” Mr Joshi said according to a PTI report.
The opposition members also tried to raise the matter of today’s income-tax raids on Dainik Bhaskar.
As soon as the members assembled in the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh tried to raise the issue of the raids. Other opposition members, including those from the Trinamool, however, rushed to the well of the House over the alleged targeting of political rivals, journalists, and critics for surveillance.
“I have not permitted you. You have to seek permission from me. Nothing shall go on record,” Mr. Naidu told Mr. Singh, calling for the tabling of listed papers. But only one paper could be laid out before the House was adjourned amid continuing protests.
The Monsoon session remained unfruitful and disruptive with the Center not willing to listen to look for constructive solutions, nor willing for a Pegasus investigation, not willing to revoke farm bills. The Opposition remained aggressive knowing their tirades would be unheard, as before. Protests seemed to gain no ground and voices just seemed to be shrieking into an unfathomable wilderness with the Center unwilling to make changes.