The two Houses of Parliament, which met on Monday after the Budget session recess, could transact little business as Opposition MPs protested over the communal violence in the national capital.
In the Lok Sabha, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress MPs pushed and shoved each other, as Opposition parties demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah.
In the Rajya Sabha, Opposition members submitted notices for a discussion on the violence in Delhi, and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah gave a statement in the House.
Earlier in the morning before Parliament convened, Opposition MPs protested in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. As the Lok Sabha convened, Speaker Om Birla adjourned the House until 2 pm as a mark of respect for sitting MP Baidyanath Prasad Mahto, who passed away last week. When the House met again, the Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice – first till 3 pm, then till 4 pm, and then 4.30 pm amid the ruckus. It was finally adjourned for the day.
At 2pm, Opposition MPs, especially those from the Congress, went into the area of the Treasury benches carrying a black banner, which demanded Shah’s resignation. When the Congress’ Gaurav Gogoi and Ravneet Singh Bittu holding the black banner went to the Treasury benches, where the BJP’s Sanjay Jaiswal was speaking on the Vivaad Se Vishwas Bill, the ruling party’s members, including Ramesh Bidhuri and Nishikant Dubey, asked them to return to the Well. Some Congress members tore papers and hurled them in the air.
Several BJP MPs, including from backbenches, rushed towards the Congress members. Members from both sides then started pushing and shoving each other, following which the proceedings were adjourned till 3 pm by the Speaker. Jaiswal later said the scuffle happened as Congress MPs holding a banner wanted to obstruct him from speaking.
Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Smriti Irani were seen trying to pacify the agitated members. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi were present in the House during the uproar.
Irani later alleged Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha misbehaved with women BJP members, who have also complained to the Speaker. The Congress’ Ramya Haridas alleged being manhandled by BJP MPs.
When the House reassembled at 3 pm, some BJP members were seen blocking the way to their side of the Well. The BJP’s Rama Devi, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House again till 4 pm saying: “Whatever you have done is wrong.” But the ruckus continued when the House again met and it was adjourned till 4.30 pm by the Chair.
However, the slogan-shouting by BJP members continued. They chanted slogans like “Mahatma Gandhi amar rahein, nakli Gandhi jail mein rahein (Long live Mahatma Gandhi, fake Gandhis stay in jail)”.
Some Opposition members placed a placard demanding Shah’s resignation on the Speaker’s table, but it was immediately removed by the staff.
Amid the din, two Bills — The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill and Mineral Laws Amendment Bill— were introduced. Also, the Direct Tax Vivaad Se Vishwas Bill was moved for consideration and passing.
In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu gave a report to the House on the work that department-related Standing Committees did on demands for grants of all the ministries as proposed in the Budget.