Opposition uproar in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha on CAA, Shaheen Bagh firing

The Opposition also staged a walkout the moment BJP MP Parvesh Verma rose to initiate the debate on the motion of thanks on the President’s address.

New Delhi: Both Houses of Parliament saw a noisy start to the first full week of the Budget Session, with the Opposition protesting against the CAA and the proposed NRC, the shooting incidents at Shaheen Bagh, the attack on students at JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia and the inflammatory goli maaro speeches by BJP MPs during the Delhi election campaign. While the Rajya Sabha was adjourn-ed for the major part of the day and no business conducted in the House as the Opposition demanded a discussion on the CAA-NRC under Rule 267, which the Chair did not allow, the Lok Sabha saw a war of words between the treasury benches and the Opposition.

A major uproar was seen in the Lok Sabha as Opposition members led by the Congress repeatedly disrupted the proceedings by standing in the Well and raising slogans like “goli maarna band karo” and “sharam karo” as and when minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur tried to reply to questions on his ministry during Question Hour.

The Opposition also staged a walkout the moment BJP MP Parvesh Verma rose to initiate the debate on the motion of thanks on the President’s address. Later, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said that “if the Election Commission does not find him fit enough to speak and bans him, why should the Opposition listen to him?”

Speaker Om Birla tried to intervene, saying statements by MPs outside Parliament cannot be raised inside the House, and members should not set a “wrong precedent”. The Opposition, however, did not relent and walked out.

The BJP’s Ramkripal Yadav talked of the “tukde-tukde” gang and how they were spoiling the atmosphere. He also talked about the possibility of a “foreign hand” in “the conspiracy to break the nation”.

Mr Gogoi later took on the government for its policies and attitude towards protests and dissent. “The ruling party is under the impression that just because they have won the election, democracy is over. They can pass any laws... For the first time a minister of the government (Anurag Thakur) is saying that men, women, students and the youth (who are protesting) should be shot dead ... There have been no arrests made on the JNU incident. The Delhi police has not been able to nab the culprits because their political masters are giving instructions, and people are shooting right in front of the police (referring to shotting incidents at Jamia and Shaheen Bagh),” Mr Gogoi said.

“Who is pulling the trigger? The boy? Or the minister making inflammatory statements who should be booked under Section 153... Inflammatory statements are being made with regard to Mahatma Gandhi and (Nathuram) Godse. None of these can happen without the approval of their (BJP) top leader,” Mr Gogoi added. The Assam Congress MP also criticised the Budget, saying: “What is the point of this Budget if it cannot take India out of the lowest GDP growth, poverty and recession?”

Terming the President’s speech a “big disappointment”, IUML MP P.K. Kunhalikutty said that it did not cover the important issues before the country. “The mandate given to the BJP is to uphold the Constitution while slogans are being raised (by anti-CAA protesters) to save the Constitution. Our reputation in the international arena is falling, and globally we are seen as (an) intolerant (nation). The international media is writing against the government... The PM is talking about a New India which is full of hatred, and joblessness,” he said. The MP also raised the inflammatory speeches by BJP MPs, saying: “The BJP is trying to communalise the Delhi polls. Not a single leader condemned the ‘goli maaro’ speech and they are encouraging people to shoot.”

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