Parliament passes Vessels Bill amid Opposition protest


NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha on Thursday saw two adjournments in the pre-noon session after a row broke out over a suspended TMC MP breaking the glass of a door of the Chamber, an act that the chair called “highly deplorable and condemnable”.

While Deputy Chairman Harivansh said the unnamed TMC MP broke the glass after she was stopped from entering the House after it was adjourned for the day on Wednesday, TMC leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said the concerned MP was suspended for the remainder of the sitting of the House and she had gone to fetch her bag after the proceedings were adjourned for the day.

As the TMC and other opposition MPs opposed the remarks and Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge cited former finance minister Arun Jaitley’s statement of disruption in Parliament being part of democracy, Harivansh adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes.

When the House reassembled, Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was on the chair, said aspersions cant be cast on the chair and adjourned the proceedings till 12.00 hours.

On Wednesday, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had suspended six TMC MPs for the day for carrying placards into the well of the House while protesting along with other opposition MPs over the Pegasus issue.

The MPs suspended were Dola Sen, Md.Nadimul Haque, Abir Ranjan Biswas, Shanta Chhetri, Arpita Ghosh and Mausam Noor.

Harivansh on Thursday said a “very unfortunate” incident took place on Wednesday after the adjournment of the House for the day.

“One of the members of Rajya Sabha who was earlier suspended from attending the meeting of the House for the day under rule 255 of Rajya Sabha rules tried to enter Rajya Sabha chamber and on being stopped by security personnel broke the glass of one of the doors of the inner lobby of the Rajya Sabha chamber,” he said.

While he did not name the MP, the incident involved Arpita Ghosh.

A woman security officer was hit by the glass piece and got injured, he said.

“She has lodged a complaint and the matter is under consideration of the chairman.”

“This is unbecoming conduct of the member of Rajya Sabha, it is highly deplorable and condemnable,” he said.

Roy countered this saying the MP was “suspended for the remaining period of the meeting (or sitting of the House on that day)”.

“So, the house was adjourned yesterday at 3.35 pm. They were not allowed to enter (the House when the proceedings were on). They were sitting in Central Hall. Their ladies’ bag was here in the House. They were supposed to come and take away their bags after the adjournment,” he said.

And they came to collect the bag and tried to enter when there was no meeting.

“House was adjourned for the day (but) they were not allowed by the security people. And, in the commotion, the glass plane was broken. And how come responsibility lies on her and for that she will be suspended again today. What is going on,” he said.

At this point, opposition MPs started protesting. Harivansh said the matter is under consideration of the Chairman.

Leader of the House and Union Minister Piyush Goyal said the chamber was closed to sanitisation and it was not acceptable that MPs break glass and that injures an employee.

An inquiry should be conducted and MPs behaviour should not affect the morale of the employees.

Kharge said disruptions are not new as he alluded to continuous obstruction of proceedings by the BJP when it was in the opposition.

Parties and their MPs try to raise their issues in the House using their democratic rights, he said.

“This is not my saying. On this same place, Jaitley had had said disruption is part of democracy.”

He was referring to Jaitley’s statement when he was the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha. Immediately after this remark, Harivansh adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes.