The Rajya Sabha witnessed noisy scenes by Opposition members over the demand for a discussion on the Pegasus issue and withdrawal of the Farm Bills, leading to repeated adjournments of the House.
As soon as the House met for the day, Deputy Chairmain Harivansh congratulated the men’s hockey team and Lovlina Borgohain for winning bronze in Tokyo Olympics. He also lauded Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for sponsoring the men’s and Women’s hockey teams.
The Rajya Sabha acknowledged the feat of the Men’s hockey team and that of Lovlina Borgohain by thumping desks.
A suspended member of the All India Trinamool Congress came into the Rajya Sabha gallery and broke a glass panel. Mr Harivansh said that a security personnel of Parliament got injured in a scuffle with suspended TMC MP. This is highly deplorable conduct by a member of Rajya Sabha, the Chair observed. Mr Harivansh said that the lady officer has lodged a complaint which is under consideration of Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.
Sukhendu Shekar Roy of the TMC, intervening on behalf of his colleague, said the member wanted to take her bag but the security people didn’t allow and in the commotion, she got hurt. He claimed it was only an accident and the security personnel wasn’t hit by the member.
Leader of the House Piyush Goyal said as per the convention a suspended member cannot return to the House. To this, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said, there was nothing undemocratic in their act.
Following noisy scenes, Deputy Chairman adjourned the House till 11.30 am. When the House resumed the Opposition continued with the protests, Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was in the Chair adjourned the House till 12 noon.
Deputy leader and Minister Union Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, violence against staff of the Rajya Sabha was unacceptable.
Amid the noisy scenes by Oppositions, Deputy Chairman called for Question Hour.
In response to a question on demand to include Tamil as a compulsory language in Kendriya Vidyalaya curriculums., Minister of State for Education Annpurna Devi said that the latest system now includes all Indian languages.
With the noisy scenes continuing, the Chair adjourned the House till 2 PM.
When the House met at 2 PM, the Chair called for taking up The Constitution (Schedule Tribes) Order Amendment Bill 2021 for consideration.
Amid noisy scenes, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda moved the motion for consideration of the Bill, which seeks to amend the constitutional list of Scheduled Tribes as recommended by Arunachal Pradesh.
Participating in the discussion, Dr. Banda Prakash of Telangana Rashtra Samithi urged the government to include communities recommended by the state government in the Scheduled Tribes list.
Thambidurai of the AIADMK said, the recommendation by the Tamil Nadu government for some communities to be included in the Scheduled Tribes list is still pending.
During the debate, some Opposition members sought to raise the issue of farmers agitation which was disallowed by the Chair. The bill was later passed by a voice vote.
Thereafter, the Rajya Sabha took up The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021. The bill which seeks to set up a statutory authority with appropriate powers to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region and adjoining areas, was moved by Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav.
Among others, Prashant Acharya of BJD opposed the clause of penalty on farmers.
Thambi Durai of the AIADMK urged Environment Minister to control pollution in other parts of the country.
K.R. Suresh Reddy of TRS asked the government to reconsider penalising farmers for stubble burning.
Vandana Chavan of the NCP said it is an absolute shame that the government has now brought this Bill, after the Supreme Court got involved.
Responding to discussion on the Bill, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said, through this Bill, the government will be accountable to Parliament.
The bill was passed by voice vote amid noisy scenes after House rejected the Statutory resolution disapproving of the Bill defeated.
Rajya Sabha passed the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021.
Thereafter, Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 and Statutory resolution disapproving of Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 were taken up for consideration.
Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt moved motion for consideration and passing of Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 while Elamaram Kareem of the CPM moved the Statutory resolution disapproving of the ordinance on the Bill.
Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said, all precedents have been set aside to include in the additional agenda. He wanted the bill be sent to the Standing Committee. Mr. Kharge said, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called him and said the issues raised by the opposition can be sorted out after he returned from Kyrgyzstan.
Refuting the report that the Opposition was not responding to the offers by the government to resolve the stalemate, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, there has been no notice for any meeting. However, the Government is ready for debate.
Mr. Rajnath Singh said, he never gave Mr. Kharge any such assurance, but he did request him that there should be a discussion in the House.
With the Opposition continuing with noisy scenes demanding discussion on Pegasus, the Chair adjourned the House for 30 minutes..
When the House reassembled at 3.40 PM, the discussion on the Bill resumed amid noisy scenes by the Opposition members.
Elamaram Kareem of the CPI(M) said, he opposed the Bill as it is draconian and demanded that the Bill be sent to a Select committee of the Rajya Sabha.
Sushil Kumar Gupta of the Aam Aadmi Party demanded that Bill be sent to a select committee.
Binoy Viswam of CPI wanted to know whether the government has the right to deny workers the right to strike.
Responding to the discussion on the Bill, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Bill does not stop the right to peaceful protest. He said, the government has taken the decision for corporatisation of ordnance factory board, but there are safeguards for service conditions of workers. This Bill will only be applicable when there is need to invoke it. Maybe we won’t have the need to invoke this Bill, ‘the Minister said.
Later, the Bill was passed by voice vote after the Statutory resolution by Elamaram Kareem of the CPI was rejected.
The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021, seeks to replace the ordinance promulgated in June 2021 and allows the Central Government to prohibit strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services.
After the passage of the Bill, Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House for the day.
In the Lok Sabha today, opposition members continued with their protests over a host of issues, including the alleged Pegasus snooping case and farm laws.
When the House met after second adjournment at 2 PM, Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy tried to raise the issue of sexual assault and killing of a Dalit girl in Delhi. The Chair did not allow it. The opposition parties including the Congress, TMC and DMK again trooped into the well and continued with their sloganeering.
Amid din the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in the House. As the ruckus continued to prevail, the House was adjourned till 4 PM.
The situation was no different when the House reassembled at 4 PM. It was adjourned till 5 PM before adjourning for the day.
Earlier, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of Congress also tried to raise the issue of sexual assault and killing of a Dalit girl in Delhi. Responding to this, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal said, the government is concerned about women’s issues. Thereafter, the Presiding Officer rejected the adjournment notices given by the opposition members.
In the morning, when the House met for the day, Opposition parties including the Congress, TMC, DMK and the others continued with their sloganeering and created a deadlock during the Question Hour over Pegasus snooping, farm laws and other issues. Repeated requests by Speaker Om Birla went unheard.
Before this, the House congratulated the Indian Men Hockey team and Indian Boxer Lovlina Borgohain for their laurels in the Olympics by the members thumping their desks in unison. The Speaker said that the Nation was proud of the achievements of the daughters in particular.