New Delhi: The Monsoon Session of Parliament got off to a stormy start on Monday with the opposition members in both houses creating ruckus over the creation of Telangana as a separate state and the Centre’s ambitious Food Security ordinance.
The Congress government’s decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh for the creation of a separate state of Telangana led to protests in and outside the Parliament, forcing the repeated adjournments of the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha.
Minutes after the proceedings began the Lok Sabha witnessed slogan shouting by members against the proposal to form Telangana and demand for Bodoland during Question Hour.
Soon after new members took oath and obituary references were made, TDP members and Congress MPs opposed to Telangana walked into the Well and shouted slogans.
TDP members, who were also protesting against TRS Chief K Chandrasekar Rao’s remarks that officials who hail from Seemandhra but are working in Telangana region will have to go back, were heard shouting “We want justice”.
Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh opposing Telangana walked into the Well to press for their demand. They carried placards which said, “We want justice for Seemandhra area” and “We want united Andhra Pradesh”.
At one point, TDP member N Sivaprasad walked up to one of the protestors from the Congress with a threatening gesture but was stopped by his party colleagues.
Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) member S K Bwiswmuthiary walked into the Well with a banner that read: “Bodoland MPs strongly stand for a separate state of Bodoland”.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath tried to pacify the members but could not be heard in the din.
Speaker Meira Kumar asked the agitating members to go back to their seats but her request went unheeded. After one starred question was taken up amid din, she adjourned the House till noon first and till 3pm later.
However, the Lower House was finally adjourned for the day after it reassembled.
Reports also claimed that the Food Security ordinance, viewed as a game change for nearly 67% of the country’s population, was also laid in the Parliament.
Earlier when the House met for the day, new members – Prabhunath Singh (RJD), Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary (BJP), Vithalbhai H Radadiya (BJP), Partibha Singh (Cong) and Prasun Banerjee (TMC) – took oath.
Prabhunath Singh demanded Bhojpuri be included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution to give it an official status, but the Speaker asked him to take oath in Hindi. Lok Sabha also paid tributes to those members, who died recently, including Mahendra Karma and Vidya Charan Shukla, who were killed in a brutal Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh on May 25.
The House also paid homage to those killed in Uttarakhand floods and the 23 children who died after consuming mid-day meal in Chhapra, Bihar.
The Speaker led the House in condemning the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, Maoist attack on policemen in Jharkhand in which a Superintendent of Police was killed and the terrorist attack in Srinagar in which eight jawans lost their lives.
She described these attacks as “cowardly”.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced new ministers inducted into his Council of Ministers – Sis Ram Ola, Oscar Fernandes, Girija Vyas, K S Rao, E M S Natchiappan, Manik Rao Gavit, Santosh Chaudhary and J D Seelam.
In Rajya Sabha, the opposition MPs, led by the BJP, stormed into the well of the Upper House and shouted slogans against the Congress government.
With the opposition MPs refusing to go back, the Rajya Sabha Speaker first adjourned the Upper House till noon and then till 2pm.
Besides Telangana and Food Security ordinance, the suspension of young IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal by the Uttar Pradesh government is also likely to dominate the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
Ahead of the commencement of Monsoon Session, the Prime Minister reached out to the Opposition parties asking them to let Parliament function smoothly.
Talking to reporters, Dr Manmohan Singh said, “The Monsoon Session of Parliament begins today and it is my sincere hope, prayer and appeal to all parties to ensure the smooth functioning of the Parliament.”
“We have wasted a lot of time in the previous two or three sessions. I hope this won’t be repeated this time, “the PM said.
Dr Singh, while appealing to the Opposition to cooperate to make the Monsoon Session productive, said, “The government on its part is willing to discuss every issue on the floor of the house.