New Delhi: Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day on Tuesday, the second day of Parliament’s monsoon session, as an aggressive Opposition took on the government on a range of issues including atrocities on Dalits and suicides by farmers.
In the Rajya Sabha, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati stormed out, threatening to resign when she was not allowed to speak beyond three minutes over “atrocities on Dalits”.
BSP general secretary Satish Mishra later confirmed that Mayawati has resigned as RS member.
In the Lok Sabha, the government introduced amid bedlam three bills — the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017.
Mayawati demanded a discussion on the atrocities on Dalits. Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien told her she had already made her demand for a full discussion and should let the House conduct its business.
Launching a scathing attack against the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and Modi-led central government, she said both remained “mute spectators” to the violence targeting Dalits in Saharanpur in May when their houses were torched and 15 Dalits injured.
She said BSP leaders were not even allowed to visit the affected families.
As Kurien sought to stop Mayawati, she said: “If I am not allowed to talk, if I cannot represent the section of the society I belong to, if I am not allowed to put across my views on atrocities on Dalits, then there is no point in staying in the House. I will resign.” She then walked out in anger.
She later told the media that she had “decided to resign as a Rajya Sabha member today”.
The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said she was following BR Ambedkar’s example of having resigned as the Law Minister when he was not allowed to speak and table the Hindu Code Bill.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukthar Abbas Naqvi said Mayawati had insulted the chair by threatening to resign. “She must apologise.”
He said the government was prepared to raise all issues.
Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad supported Mayawati and took objection to Naqvi’s remarks.
“When Mayawati tried to talk, she was told we have got the mandate. We did not know the BJP has got the mandate to massacre minorities and Dalits,” an angry Ghulam Nabi Azad said, amid interruptions by the treasury benches.
He said the Congress had moved an adjournment notice for farmers, Dalits and minorities and accused the government was gagging the opposition.
Azad and other Congress members too later walked out of the House.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury also said points made by Mayawati were “serious”.
Amid noisy scenes, Kurien adjourned the House till noon. When the house met then, the disruption continued and the house was adjourned till 2 p.m. and later till 3.
When the house met at 3, some Congress members again came to the podium and raised slogans.
Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar accused the opposition of running away from debate. As the din continued, the House was adjourned for the day.
The Lok Sabha also witnessed acrimonious scenes over several issues, including farmers’ plight and incidents involving cow vigilantes, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the House for the day soon after it met for the day.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge wanted to raise the plight of farmers but Mahajan did not allow the issue to be raised during Question Hour.
The Congress, the Left, RJD and Trinamool Congress members shouted slogans and came near the Speaker’s podium holding placards and the house was adjourned till 12 noon. When it convened again, opposition members rushing towards the Speaker’s podium. Some held placards that read: “Gau mata to bahana hai, karz maafi se dhyan hatana hai” and “Vijay Mallya ko bhagaya, kisano ko rulaya.”
BJP members from Karnataka too held placards, demanding that the state government protect honest officers.
After the bills were introduced, Mahajan adjourned the House for the day.