Both Houses of Parliament hit by anti-CAA protests; Opposition MPs walk out of LS as BJP's Parvesh Verma moves Motion of Thanks - LiveNow24x7: Latest News, breaking news, 24/7 news,live news

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Monday, 3 February 2020

Both Houses of Parliament hit by anti-CAA protests; Opposition MPs walk out of LS as BJP's Parvesh Verma moves Motion of Thanks

Oppositions parties walked out of the Lok Sabha on Monday after proceedings resumed at 1.30 pm as BJP MP Parvesh Verma moved the Motion of Thanks on President Ram Nath Kovind's speech supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act. Additionally, Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 3 pm, shortly after it reconvened at 2 pm and Opposition members raised slogans as Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav moved the Motion of Thanks. Verma had been banned from campaigning by the Election Commission for 96 hours ahead of the 8 February Delhi polls owing to communally divisive remarks made by him. Union Minister Anurag Thakur was also handed a 72-hour ban for the ‘desh ke gaddaron ko’ slogan during election rallies.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session. PTI

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session. PTI

Earlier in the day, Lok Sabha was adjourned till 1.30 pm and Rajya Sabha till 2 pm as the chorus against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) by the Opposition grew louder in both the Houses.

The Budget Session of the Parliament began on 31 January with President Ram Nath Kovind addressing a joint sitting of both the Houses. On Monday, both the Houses were to initiate the discussion on the ''motion of thanks'' to the President's address. However, even before the session began, two adjournment and three suspension of business notices were given by leaders from the Congress, BSP, CPI, CPM and Indian Union Muslim League over the remarks by BJP ministers against anti-CAA protests and situation prevailing in the country due to the contentious law, demanding that NPR and NRC be stopped. Other parties that gave adjournment notices were DMK, TMC and AIMIM.

As soon as the Lower House convened, Opposition members began raising slogans, demanding a debate on the issue. Members also raised slogans such as 'Say no to CAA', 'save our democracy' and 'save our Constitution' during Question Hour. Despite Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s reminder that members can raise issues during the Zero Hour, members kept chanting slogans.

Even as Thakur began speaking in response to a query about chit fund scams, the slogans grew louder owing to his controversial ‘shoot the traitors’ remark during Delhi election rallies against anti-CAA protesters. Congress members, who descended into the Well, shouted slogans against the minister and asked 'Aapki goli kaha hai? (where is your bullet?)', an apparent reference to the minister's controversial remarks. Some members also shouted 'Goli maarna band karo, desh ko todna band karo (Stop shooting, stop breaking the nation)'. Whenever Thakur was responding to supplementaries during the Question Hour, the members began sloganeering against him.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury saying the government cannot silence people's "boli" (voice) with "goli". When he was allowed to speak during Zero Hour, the Congress leader hit out at the BJP and alleged that even as anti-CAA protestors held the national flag and sang the national anthem, they were fired upon and killed, making a reference to the deaths reported across the country during agitations against the law.

“You are fake Hindus," he said, adding that if its members were "asli (genuine) Hindus", they would have behaved differently. “It's a conspiracy by ruling party to scare and threaten protesters. The ruling party's goons are doing such things and the government is silent,” he added.

Meanwhile, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that the government should be ashamed for firing on students, expressing solidarity with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia. “Do they know that students have lost their eyes? Do they know our daughters were beaten?” he asked.

His statements come even as three firing incidents have been reported within a week in the Jamia Nagar area, which is also witnessing the Shaheen Bagh protest. The attackers held on Thursday and Saturday said statements like ‘Ye lo azaadi’ (take this freedom) and ‘Is desh mein sirf Hinduon ki chalegi’ (Only Hindus will run this country).

He had said in December last year that a population database will be the start of work for a register of citizens. "Home Minister Amit Shah said there is no difference between NPR and NRC. I am telling you that NPR and NRC are two sides of a coin. The rules of NPR and NRC are the same,” he had said.

Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned twice – at 12 pm and 2 pm – as Opposition members demanded a debate on CAA, NRC and NPR and TMC members trooped into the well after Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan refused to hold a discussion on the matter and began the Question Hour. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad insisted that the discussion should be allowed because people are being allegedly killed in BJP-ruled states across the country.

Earlier, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu disallowed notices given by several Opposition members to discuss the issue and then adjourned proceedings till noon after MPs belonging to the Congress, TMC, Left and BSP rose to raise the issue.

The president's address had specific mention of the amended citizenship law and it can be discussed during the debate on the Motion of Thanks, he said. However, Satish Chandra Mishra of the BSP, Derek O'Brien of the TMC, TK Rangarajan of the CPM and other Opposition members rose to speak on it.

The opposition has termed the CAA passed by Parliament as "unconstitutional" and have challenged the same in the Supreme Court which will hear the matter later this month. The opposition parties have also urged chief ministers of those states which have opposed the CAA to not roll out the NPR exercise.

The Parliament had passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill on 11 December last year with 311 Lok Sabha MPs and 125 Rajya Sabha MPs voting in its favour. Soon, protests against the Act began and turned violent. Owaisi had said during the debate on the proposed citizenship law that it aimed to make Muslims stateless and ripped a copy of the bill apart in the Lok Sabha.

With inputs from agencies

February 03, 2020 at 02:25PM

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