National

Lok Sabha adjourns amid protests on Rafale, Cauvery

New Delhi :  Lok Sabha proceedings lasted barely for an hour on Tuesday as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House for the day amid slogan-shouting and protests by treasury and opposition benches over a range of issues, including Rafale deal.

As the House met at 11 AM, Congress members rushed into the Well with placards in their hand and raised slogans demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal.

There were more than 30 members from the AIADMK, the TDP and the Congress in the Well during the Question Hour.

The TDP members were demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh while the AIADMK MPs were protesting against a dam on the Cauvery river.

In the din, only one question related to production of garlic was taken up. Even as Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh was responding to supplementary questions, BJP members continued sloganeering on the Rafale issue.

The BJP members were demanding an apology from Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The House proceedings barely lasted for five minutes and it was adjourned till noon.

As the House re-convened at noon, the protests continued.

In the melee, the National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was introduced in the House.

Upset with the disruption of proceedings, Mahajan said the members were well aware that this was an important session as everyone will face elections after this.

She said the government was ready for discussion, but the ruckus continued.

“This does not send a good message and we have to face the public,” she said.

Mahajan lamented that people from other countries were questioning as to “what was happening in our country”.

“I got a message that school kids are better than us. Are we worse than school kids?” she said.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said even they were ready for discussion, but demanded formation of a JPC to probe the Rafale deal so that every file related to the matter can be scrutinised.

To this Mahajan said that constitution of JPC was not under her purview.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the Supreme Court verdict has made things clear, indicating that there was no need for a JPC on the controversial issue.

Unahppy with the response, Congress members again started raising slogans, following which the House was adjourned for the day.

The lower house has been witnessing daily disruptions since the winter session began last week. It had passed a bill on transgender rights on Monday.

 PTI 

 18/12/2018

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