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LS witnesses ruckus, Speaker refuses to adjourn proceedings


New Delhi – Lok Sabha today witnessed noisy protests by the Opposition members over Lalit Modi controversy and other issues, but a determined Speaker Sumitra Mahajan continued the proceedings amidst the bedlam and warned the protesting members of action.

As the ruckus continued, the Speaker refused to adjourn the House and a visibly peeved Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu termed the Opposition protests as a “fraud played on the democracy”.

The Question Hour continued even as over 40 Opposition members, including those from the Congress and Left, were in the Well shouting slogans and holding placards. They were protesting over the Lalit Modi controversy involving External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and corruption issues.

TRS members were also on the aisles with placards demanding a separate High Court for Telangana. Amidst the din, questions were raised by members, mostly from the BJP and its allies, and some Ministers replied.

Mahajan repeatedly requested the protesting opposition members to put down the placards as it was against the rules.

As the pleas went unheeded, the Speaker warned that she would be forced to name the members and was even heard asking for the names of those holding placards.

“You have to put down the placards now… You are taking away the rights of more than 300 members,” she said. Warning the protesting members, Mahajan said, “I am not going to adjourn the House today”, which elicited loud thumping of desks by the ruling BJP members.

Mahajan even asked Congress members Sushmita Dev and Gaurav Gogoi to put down their placards. As the protests persisted, Naidu wondered whether “Parliament is helpless and can 40 members take the House to ransom? We cannot allow this (protests)… This is a tamasha, a fraud played on the democracy of the country.” he said.

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