LS adjourned for the day amid opposition protests


New Delhi

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Wednesday without transacting much business amid unrelenting protests both by the opposition and NDA’s ally Shiv Sena.

While the opposition rallied over the Rafale fighter jet deal, BJP ally Shiv Sena demanded early construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.

The House witnessed a ruckus during Question Hour soon after it met for the second day of the winter session.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge got up from his seat and wanted to speak on a notice given by party member Sunil Jakhar for moving an adjournment motion on the Rafale deal.

But Kharge was not allowed to do so.

In the Monsoon session in August, the Congress had raised the same issue accusing the government of trying to mislead the nation on the defence deal with France.

The Congress was soon joined by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and other opposition members, who trooped near the Speaker’s podium and started sloganeering.

Unable to conduct the Question Hour, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan initially adjourned the House till noon.

However, soon after the House reassembled, members of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, TDP and other opposition parties were again on their feet. They again trooped to the Speaker’s podium.

Once again the Rafale deal was raised by the Congress, while the DMK raised the Cauvery waters distribution issue between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and the TDP demanded special status for Andhra Pradesh.

The Shiv Sena members also trooped near the Speaker’s podium raising their demand for early construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. They raised slogans saying all Hindus demand the Ram temple.

Mahajan urged the agitating members not to disturb the functioning of the House but the opposition as well as the Shiv Sena members did not listen.

Amid the din the Dam Safety Bill was introduced by Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal.

As the noisy protests continued, Mahajan adjourned the House for the day.

Of the business that could be transacted during the day was the oath taking by two newly elected members V.S. Ugrappa from Bellary and L.R. Shivarama Gowda from Mandya in Karnataka.

Ugrappa from the Congress and Gowda from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) had defeated BJP candidates in the November by-polls.

There were obituary references to 11 former members including Madan Lal Khurana, N.D. Tiwari, C. K. Jaffer Sharief earlier in the day.

Before the House met for the day, the TDP and the Shiv Sena were seen protesting outside Parliament.

Dam Safety Bill introduced in LS

The Dam Safety Bill, 2018 that aims to provide a robust legal and institutional framework under Central and state governments for the safety of dams, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday amid protests by opposition and Shiv Sena members.

The Bill, which provides for the surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of specified dams for prevention of dam failure related disasters, was introduced by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal.

Biju Janata Dal’s Bhartruhari Mahtab objected to the introduction of this Bill saying such matters come under the state purview and the Centre does not have legislative competence to bring such Bills. But his objections were rejected by Meghwal.

The Bill also provides for an institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning. Once enacted, the Bill will apply to specified dams across all states. (IANS)

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