The Monsoon session of Parliament had a stormy start on Tuesday, with the opposition forcing a washout by creating pandemonium over various issues and an angry BSP chief Mayawati resigning from the Rajya Sabha for not being allowed to speak on the dalit issue. Members from parties like the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Left parties and the RJD created uproar in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha as soon as the Houses met for the day.
In the Lok Sabha, as many as three bills, including the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, were introduced and reports of various parliamentary committees were tabled amid the din. But due to the ruckus, it was adjourned for the day minutes after noon following one adjournment earlier. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned repeatedly till 3 pm and then for the day, without transacting any business. Though the Monsoon session began on Monday, Tuesday was the first working day as yesterday, both the Houses were adjourned, without transacting any business, after obituary references to the departed MPs.
On Tuesday, the opposition members wanted to raise issues like atrocities against Dalits, violent incidents involving cow vigilantes and the plight of farmers. In the Rajya Sabha, as soon as the House assembled for the day, Mayawati raised the issue of violence against Dalits against the backdrop of riots in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Asked her to wrap up as she had exceeded the three-minute duration set for each member during the Zero Hour, Mayawati got angry. “I have not finished. You cannot do this,” she said, adding, “I will resign from Rajya Sabha today.”
In the evening she met Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari and handed over her resignation letter.
Sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said the decision on accepting her resignation lies with the chairman. Mayawati’s term in the Upper House is till April next year.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government, at an all-party meeting before the start of the Monsoon Session, had agreed to discuss any issue that the opposition wants to raise in the house. “Promise was made to us in the presence of the Prime Minister. You are going against that,” he said adding that the Opposition had given notices to discuss crisis facing farmers, anti-Dalit violence and lynching of minorities. Azad said the government has got a mandate to protect the Dalits and minorities and for development. “You didn’t get a mandate to massacre minorities and Dalits,” he said, before leading a walkout by the Congress.
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government was ready for discussion on any issue and the opposition should give a notice. RJ chair PJ Kurien said the government was agreeing to having a discussion, so the opposition members should return to their seats and start it. “Shouting slogan is no solution,” he said. But the opposition members remained unrelenting.