New Delhi | The Lok Sabha was today adjourned twice amid slogan shouting by the Opposition Congress, protesting against the government’s approach on the mega food park project in Amethi. The House was adjourned for 10 minutes each — first at 1120 hrs and then 1150 hrs.
The trouble erupted soon after the resumption of the proceedings in the House when Speaker Sumitra Mahajan called for Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal to make her statement.
The ensuing pandemonium and mobbing in the Well prevailed for almost an hour as Opposition protested against ‘repeated opportunities’ given to the Minister to speak on the same issue and the treasury benches demanding apology from Congress Member Deependra Hooda for ‘utterances’ against the Speaker.
When the House re-assembled, the issue was settled with regrets from Mr Hooda. As Ms Badal rose to make a statement over the issue, the ruling BJP Member Kirit Somaiya made some comment against Congress Member from Amethi Rahul Gandhi. Then the Opposition members stormed into the Well raising slogans in their bid to prevent Ms Badal from making her statement.
Amid noise and slogan shouting, Ms Badal continued with her statement, detailing on administrative procedure and government action in the course of grant, processing and cancellation of the project. She completed her statement amid pandemonium but nothing could be heard.
At one point of time, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said, the Minister can table her statement if she wants. However, Ms Badal continued and even made some additional remarks that were not recorded on the directives of the Chair.
After the Minister’s statement, the Speaker tried to take up the listed business but the Opposition did not relent and continued with their slogans in the Well.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was unhappy over opportunity given to the Minister to read her statement. Mr Kharge said, How was it, that the issue figured in the House for the third time, where are the rules ? ”
When the House reassembled at 1130 hrs, Mr Kharge rose to assert his point saying, ”we spoke once over the issue and the Ministers and other ruling party Members spoke repeatedly.” The Speaker pacified Mr Kharge saying she would clarify.
Mr Hooda then rose to assert on the issue saying Mr Gandhi raised the issue once in the House but the treasury benches spoke on the issue five times.
The rule 356 of the procedure and conduct of the business of Lok Sabha does not allow repetition, they spoke over the issue five times. You allowed them five times, this does not mean any thing against you personally but we want to make grievances to the Chair.
His comments evoked sharp protests from treasury benches. Home Minister Rajnath Singh rose to intervene saying ”Mr Gandhi raised the issue, I assured him of providing all information over issue personally, I spoke to Minister (Ms Badal), took briefing from her and provided necessary information to Mr Gandhi at his residence the same evening.
Now I am unable to understand, what is wrong if, the Minister makes her clarification more than once, on an issue raised by the Opposition, Mr Singh said amid sharp reaction from Congress members.
The Speaker also responded to Mr Hooda, saying, You referred rule 356, then listen to me, Mr Rahul Gandhi raised the issue probably on May 7, the Minister did not respond, Then, the next day Kirit Somauya spoke on the issue, the Minister responded, she also uttered some unparliamentary words that were expunged by me, then the Minister wrote me a letter saying that she could not complete her version that day and want to make a statement to put up facts on the issue and I have allowed her to make the written statement that was approved by me.
So go by the record, it is not correct to say that the treasury benches were given five opportunities to raise the issue,” she said.
However, Mr Hooda insisted that the issue was raised five times by different members or Ministers.
This made Speaker a bit unhappy as she said Are you challenging me. If records proved you wrong, would you say something, would you say sorry.”
Taking que,, Members from treasury benches demanded apology from Mr Hooda.
Even Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and his deputy Rajiv Pratap Rudy were seen expressing unhappiness over observations made by Mr Hooda.
On the second re-assembly, Mr Hooda rose to express regrets over his utterances. He said I made my point and in the course of my statement if I uttered some thing wrong, if I hurt feelings of some one, I regret.
That was not my intention nor the purpose, I did not mean to lower the decorum of the Chair in any manner, he added.
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