Cong, BJP members scuffle in LS as Oppn protests against Delhi violence, demands Shah's resignation

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Cong, BJP members scuffle in LS as Oppn protests against Delhi violence, demands Shah's resignation

Monday, 02 March 2020 | PTI | New Delhi

Cong, BJP members scuffle in LS as Oppn protests against Delhi violence, demands Shah's resignation

BJP and Congress members pushed and shoved each other in Lok Sabha on Monday as opposition parties vehemently protested over the issue of violence in Delhi and demanded resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah.

Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice till 4.30 pm amid continuing ruckus. Speaker Om Birla said that he was pained by what has happened during the day, before adjourning the House till Tuesday.

As soon as the House met at 2 pm, opposition members started raising slogans from the Well against the government.

They went into the area of treasury benches carrying a black banner, which demanded Shah's resignation, as Speaker Om Birla took up the listed business.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi condemned their "unruly behaviour" and asked the Speaker to continue with proceedings.

Joshi alleged that "these are the people" who have provoked the riots. "They murdered 3,000 people in 1984 (riots) and did no investigation. The priority is to restore peace... But they want to create tension," he said.

Seeking to restore normalcy in the House, Birla asked opposition members who were in the Well to take their seats even as they continued to shout "we want justice" and "Amit Shah Murdabad" (Down with Amit Shah).

They were also holding placards saying "stop hate speech, save our India".

Things took a turn for worse as Congress' Gaurav Gogoi and Ravneet Singh Bittu holding the black banner went to the Treasury benches where BJP's Sanjay Jaiswal was speaking on 'Vivaad Se Vishwas' Bill.

BJP members, including Ramesh Bidhuri and Nishikant Dubey, asked them to return to the Well.

Some Congress members tore papers and hurled them in the air.

The charge by the Congress MPs angered the BJP members, including many from back benches, who rushed towards the Congress members.

Members from both sides then began pushing and shoving each other following which the proceedings were adjourned till 3 pm by the Speaker.

Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Smriti Irani were seen trying to pacify the agitated members.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi were present in the House during the uproar.

When the House reassembled at 3 pm, some BJP members were seen blocking the way to their side of the Well.

Congress member Ramya Haridas complained about being manhandled by BJP members.

BJP's Rama Devi, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House again till 4 pm saying "whatever you have done is wrong".

But the ruckus continued when the House again met and it was adjourned till 4.30 pm by the Chair.

However, the slogan-shouting by the BJP members continued.

They chanted slogans like "Desh ki raksha kaun karega, hum karenge hum karenge (Who will defend the nation, we will do it)" and "Mahatma Gandhi amar rahein, nakli Gandhi jail mein rahein (Long live Mahatma Gandhi, fake Gandhis stay in jail)".

Some Opposition members placed a placard demanding Shah's resignation on the Speaker's table but it was swiftly removed by the staff.

Earlier, Birla asked leaders of oppositions parties to ensure that their members take their respective seats as the "people of the country are watching (the proceedings)".

"This is the temple of democracy. There are certain rules and tradition. You should not come to the Well," he said.

Birla also said "as you are responsible representatives of people here, it is your collective responsibility to maintain peace and tranquility."

As the House met at 4.30 pm, the Speaker said, "We must maintain decorum in the House. It belongs to every member.

"I am personally pained at the developments in the House. You are not pained. I do not want to run proceedings under such circumstances.... Everybody should deliberate to ensure that the dignity of the House is maintained."

He said senior members of the House should do their bit to ensure it runs smoothly.

Amid the din, two bills  -- The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill and Mineral Laws Amendment Bill-- were introduced.

Also the Direct Tax Vivaad Se Vishwas Bill was moved for consideration and passing.

In the morning, Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm as a mark of respect for sitting JD(U) member Baidyanath Prasad Mahto from Valmiki Nagar in Bihar who died on February 28.

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