New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice on Friday after the opposition created a ruckus over the resignation of five Congress MLAs from Gujarat who later joined the ruling BJP in the state. Congress member Anand Sharma accused the Gujarat Police of “kidnapping” its MLAs to pressurise them to join the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Subsequently, the opposition members trooped into the well of the House in protest and raised slogans of ‘Stop killing of the Constitution’. When Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked what he could do in the matter, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “You can direct the Election Commission for free and fair elections (in the state).” Kurien responded: “The Election Commission does not need directions from the Chair. It is constitutionally bound to hold free and fair elections.” BJP member Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi objected to Azad’s demand, saying that he may also ask for such directions from the Supreme Court. As the protest continued even after the first adjournment of 10 minutes, the House was adjourned again till 12 p.m.
Chhanabhai Chaudhary, a legislator from tribal Vansda seat, and Mansinh Chauhan from Balasinor submitted their resignations to Speaker Ramanlal Vora on Friday. Chaudhary and Chauhan are believed to be close to rebel leader and former Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela, who quit as Leader of the Opposition on his birthday on July 21, alleging there was an intra-party conspiracy to oust him from the Congress. Congress’ Balwantsinh Rajput, MLA from Siddhpur, Tejashree Patel from Viramgam, and Vijapur legislator P.I. Patel had submitted their resignations on Thursday afternoon and joined the BJP.