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Congress protests force RS to adjourn twice

Rajya Sabha

New Delhi:  Congress today forced two adjournments of Rajya Sabha in the pre-lunch session as it took strong exception to some business houses asking Parliament to function and demanded a response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues.

Congress and parties like JD(U) and CPI(M) attacked the government for “using” media and businessmen to hit out at the opposition for disruptions in Parliament.

As government said it was ready for a debate on any issue and accused the opposition of running away from it, the opposition sought a discussion under a rule that entails voting on the lines of Lok Sabha.

Opposition and treasury benches exchanged sharp barbs after Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said the charge that BJP government was “a government for money bags has been vindicated” in the attack on Parliament by “capitalists”.

“Today that charge is vindicated,” he said adding that Parliament represents 125 crore Indians.

The JD(U) leader was referring to an online signature campaign in which over 15,000 people, including the country’s top industrialists, have urged lawmakers to allow Parliament to function, debate and legislate.

Finance Minister and Leader of the House Arun Jaitley retorted, telling Yadav ” does the common man want Parliament not to function? … You are guilty of stalling democracy.”

This comment triggered Congress members to rush into the Well shouting slogans against the Government, forcing the first adjournment till noon.

When the House reassembled for Question Hour, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said Yadav has raised a very important issue that involves the prestige of this House, as some industrialists are now trying to “teach us how to run Parliament.”

“The MPs are being derided. The ruling party is usingmedia and business houses to attack the opposition,” he said, charging the government with terrorising channels who do not tow their line, but “this cannot terrorise MPs.”

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said questions were being raised on the functioning of the House and business houses are telling MPs how to run Parliament.

“They cannot interfere…We also want the House to run,” he said, demanding that there be a discussion on the IPL row along with voting, as was being done in Lok Sabha. “Why can’t we have it in this House also,” he said, demanding a thorough probe into the Lalit Modi controversy involving External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

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