RS members defy Chair’s order to withdraw, House adjourned for day

Parliament of India
Parliament of India

New Delhi, Jan 2: The Rajya Sabha was on Wednesday adjourned for the day amid sloganeering by agitating AIADMK and DMK members who, in a very unusual move, defied Chair’s orders to withdraw from the House and stayed put near the podium in the post-lunch sitting.

Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu — after his appeals to restore order failed on deaf ears and the House had already been adjourned several times — named the agitating members and asked to withdraw from the House for the day under Rule 256 of the proceedings of the House.

“You are forcing me to take action. I am forced to take the names of following members,” Naidu said as he named A. Navaneethakrishnan, Muthukaruppan, Gokulakrishnan, Vijila Sathyanath, A. Selvaraj, R. Lakshmanan, S.R. Balasubramoniyan and V. Vijayakumar of AIADMK, and R.S. Bharathi, Tiruchi Siva, Kanimozhi and T.K.S. Elangovan of DMK.

“I suggest to all these members to immediately withdraw from the House as per the traditions and customs of the House,” he said as he adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

However, as the House reassembled at 2.28 p.m, the named members had not withdrawn and continued shouting slogans near the Chair’s podium. The MPs from Tamil Nadu have been protesting against the proposed Mekedatu dam in Karnataka on Cauvery river.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was in the Chair, asked the MPs named by Naidu to “kindly withdraw” from the House, but they did not heed the advice. Harivansh then adjourned the House till 3 p.m.

As the House reassembled at 3 p.m. the scene was no different and the AIADMK and DMK members were shouting slogans more loudly.

MoS Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said that Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had proposed to make a statement in the House over Mekedatu dam but the agitating members were not ready to listen to him.

“It was a statement that would have satisfied all the members but some of the MPs did not let Gadkariji speak. The government is ready to discuss all issues in Parliament,” Goel said.

Amid the continued din, the Chair adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh moved a Resolution for Rajya Sabha to ratify the proclamation of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir on December 19, 2018 under Article 356 of the Constitution.

Rajnath Singh made a small statement on the matter amid the din, but no discussion on the proposal could take place. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, who hails from Kashmir, stood up to speak on the matter but could not do so owing to the noise.

In the morning, too, the upper House was repeatedly adjourned amid sloganeering by AIADMK members.

Chairman Naidu tried to go ahead with the Zero Hour but the din continued. He then adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

When the House met at 11.40 a.m, it had to be adjourned again till noon.

Again, as the Question Hour began at 12, the agitating MPs refused to relent and continued shouting slogans. The Chair then adjourned the House till 2 p.m.


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