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Rajya Sabha sees repeated adjournments on Day One of Monsoon Session; PM couldn’t introduce new ministers

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Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments on Day One of the Monsoon session amidst uproar over various issues by MPs from Opposition parties who did not even allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce newly inducted Union ministers to the Upper House.

Opposition also sought to raise the issue of the nationality of a newly inducted Union Minister of State alleging he was a Bangladeshi national, but the government dismissed the charge as “baseless” and slammed them for casting such aspersions on a leader from a tribal community.

The House, which paid tributes to the departed sitting and former MPs in the morning, was adjourned several times as slogan-shouting MPs from Opposition parties kept insisting that their issues should be taken up first. Several of them had also trooped into the Well of the House holding placards. The House was adjourned for the day at around 3.30 pm, much ahead of its scheduled time.

As the prime minister started introduction of the new ministers, the Opposition upped its sloganeering.

Anguished over the Opposition’s conduct, Modi said it seems Opposition members were not happy on induction of such a large number of women, dalit and scheduled tribe ministers in the union council.

It was for the first time that such a negative mindset was on display in the House, Modi said, and laid the list of new ministers on the table of the House.

Newly appointed Leader of the House and Union minister Piyush Goyal too condemned the Opposition behaviour, saying introduction of new ministers to the House was a practice being followed since the times of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Such conduct would undermine the Indian democratic traditions, he said.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu made several attempts to pacify the protesting MPs so that the House could conduct listed business, but in vain. He also rejected 17 notices by different Opposition party members for suspension of the listed business to take up issues raised by them.

The first adjournment due to disruptions took place at around 12.45 PM till 2 PM, and one more till 3 PM. But the Opposition’s sloganeering continued leading to adjournment for day at around 3.30 PM.

Amidst uproar, the government introduced the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021, which was passed by Lok Sabha in March.

Opposition members led by TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asked the government to clear its stand over the nationality of a minister.

They, however, did not name the minister. The government dismissed their charge as “baseless” and slammed them for casting such aspersions on a leader from a tribal community.

Earlier, Naidu urged members to have informed discussions on all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic so that the country is better equipped to tackle the possible third wave.

The Monsoon session, which has 19 sittings scheduled, assumes enhanced significance in the context of the prevailing situation in the country and the suffering of the people further compounded by the possible third wave, he said.

Asserting that Parliament cannot afford to let the people down in their hour of pain and suffering, Naidu said, “I appeal to all sections of the House to ensure a meaningful Monsoon session that got underway today.”

“What is at stake is the credibility of Parliament and its members, he said and added, “Let us be conscious of the immense responsibility cast upon all of us.”

He also stressed that the need of the hour is to learn from the experience of first and second COVID-19 waves so as to be better equipped for the possible “fresh bouts” of the pandemic that are being talked about.

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader P V Abdul Wahab on Monday took oath as a member of Rajya Sabha for a third term.

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