New Delhi: The proceedings of the Lok Sabha were washed out for the 18th consecutive working day today due to vociferous protests by AIADMK members seeking early constitution of the Cauvery water management board. The ruckus saw the adjournment of the proceedings for the first time within four minutes after it assembled and then for the day at noon after the listed papers were laid.
Even before the House was re-assembled at noon, the AIADMK members, carrying placards trooped into the Well of the House shouting slogans such as ‘we want justice’ and ‘we demand Cauvery board’. Citing assembly polls in Karnataka, the Centre had last week sought more time from the Supreme Court to set up the Cauvery water management board to implement water sharing formula between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Congress, NCP, Left, TDP and RJD members were standing in their seats seeking the Speaker’s ruling on the notices they had given on the no-confidence motion, moved by some of them. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan appealed to the AIADMK members to return to their seats saying she cannot take up the no- confidence motion unless the House is in order. “I am duty bound to place the no-confidence motion. But this is not the way. Please go to your seats. I am not in a position to count,” she said.
A notice of no-confidence can be taken up in the House if it is supported by at least 50 members present, for which a headcount is needed. Parliamentary Minister Ananth Kumar also said the government was ready for discussion and give reply to the no- confidence motion but there has to be complete harmony in the House. “We are ready to discuss and give reply. But the opposition is not allowing it,” he said. Kumar said the people of the country has full support and confidence in the Narendra Modi government.
Leader of the Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge, who has also submitted a notice for no-confidence motion, said the opposition wanted to discuss a host of issues, including the recent Supreme Court ruling on SC/ST Act and alleged paper leak of the CBSE examinations. On this, Kumar said the government stood for full protection of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and no atrocities on the SCs and STs would be allowed. “We have already filed the review petition in the Supreme Court,” he said.
The Speaker again appealed to the AIADMK members to stop their protest and return to their seats. However, as the AIADMK members continued shouting slogans, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day. Earlier, when the House had assembled after a four-day break, the Speaker tried to take up the Question Hour but could not proceed much as AIADMK members rushed into the Well shouting slogans.
As the ruckus continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon, barely four minutes after it had met. Congress member Kantilal Bhuria and RJD’s J P N Yadav were seen waving documents and demanding a review of the Supreme Court order diluting the provisions of immediate arrest under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. While the TMC members were seated in their places, MPs of the TDP, which has moved a notice of no confidence against the government, were standing at their seats with black ribbons pinned to their shirts as a mark of protest.