Opposition Parties Protest and Demand Immediate Debate on Manipur Violence (Parliament)
New Delhi, July 20 (City Times): The proceedings in both houses of Parliament were disrupted and subsequently adjourned until tomorrow due to the uproar surrounding the issue of Manipur violence.
In the Lok Sabha, when the session resumed at 2 PM after the initial adjournment, the Presiding Officer rejected the adjournment notices submitted by members from various political parties on different subjects, including the violence in Manipur.
Pralhad Joshi, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, reiterated that the government is prepared to discuss the Manipur violence issue. He emphasized its sensitivity and stated that Home Minister Amit Shah would provide a response on the matter.
Joshi also urged the cooperation of all political parties to facilitate smooth functioning of the House, highlighting the consideration of several crucial legislations during the session.
However, amidst the proceedings, Members from Congress, DMK, JD(U), and others entered the well of the House, raising slogans. Despite pleas from the presiding officer to allow the House to function, the protesting members continued with their sloganeering. As a result, the House was adjourned for the day.
In the Rajya Sabha, when the session resumed at 2 PM after the second adjournment, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur introduced the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023.
Following that, Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, brought up the issue of violence in Manipur, demanding a discussion under rule 267.
Kharge pointed out that the situation in Manipur is far from normal and highlighted the reported atrocities on women.
The representatives from Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, TMC, Left, Samajwadi Party, RJD, and various other political parties emphatically voiced their call for a discussion on the Manipur issue while standing in the House.
Earlier, during the first adjournment at 12 Noon, the Chairman mentioned that the notices submitted by members from different political parties on the topics of Manipur violence, the Balasore train accident, unemployment, and other issues had been disallowed.
Derek O’Brien of TMC also echoed similar demands. The House witnessed noisy scenes with slogans from both Opposition and Treasury bench members. Consequently, the Upper House was adjourned until 2 PM.
After the adjournment of the upper house until 2 PM, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal addressed the media and expressed dissatisfaction with the Opposition’s behavior. He stated that despite the government’s readiness to debate the issue, the Opposition was unnecessarily disrupting parliamentary proceedings.
Goyal further criticized the Opposition, accusing them of having no interest in allowing the House to function effectively, suggesting that they had premeditated their disruptive stance.
The Opposition, on their part, demanded the suspension of all business to prioritize the discussion on Manipur and also called for the presence of the Prime Minister in the House.
Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar mentioned the notices submitted by members from different political parties on Manipur violence under rule 176, which allows for short-duration discussions. He stated that the time for the discussion would be decided after consulting with the Leader of the House.
However, Mallikarjun Kharge insisted that the discussion must be held under rule 267, which would require the suspension of all House business.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor expressed concern over the Prime Minister’s silence on the issue for an extended period and hoped for a parliamentary discussion to address the matter.
In response to the opposition’s stance, Pralhad Joshi criticized their behavior, stating that the entire opposition seemed uninterested in the functioning of the House and was merely seeking excuses to disrupt proceedings, which he deemed inappropriate.