Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day amid uproar by Opposition members seeking a debate on the issue of frequent increase in fuel prices. As soon as House met at 1 PM to transact business, the opposition MPs raised slogans and demanded a discussion on the rising fuel prices.
Earlier today, the House was adjourned twice after Opposition members created ruckus over the issue of fuel prices. Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjuna Kharge gave a notice for suspension of business to discuss "huge and frequent increase in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG even when global prices are ruling low."
However, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow the discussion, saying the issue can be debated "during the course of discussion on the Appropriation bill." As the Chair decided to continue the scheduled Question Hour, Opposition parties began shouting slogans seeking a debate on the issue.
The Chair kept on asking members to go back to their seats and not deprive members from the Question Hour. However, Opposition members kept on shouting. "If you don't want the Question Hour to continue, if you want to deprive people of Question Hour, I can adjourn the House. .... Please go to your seat. Loktantra ka majak nahi karna hai... (Don't make a joke of democracy," the Chairman said.
As members continued to shout, the Chairman adjourned the House till 11 AM. When MPs assembled at 11 AM, the opposition members again created uproar, leading to another adjournment till 1 PM.
The second part of the Budget session of Parliament started on Monday but its duration is likely to be curtailed as most top politicians would be busy campaigning for assembly polls taking place in March-April. As of now, the session will conclude on April 8. SourcesAccording to a PTI report, parties across the board support curtailing the session in view of polls in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. However, an official decision is yet to be taken.
The main focus of the government in the second part of the session is to get various demands of grants for the financial year 2021-22 passed along with the Finance Bill which carries various tax proposals. Besides these mandatory agendas, the government has listed various bills for passage in the session. Some of the bills listed by the government include the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, Electricity (Amendment) Bill, and Crypto currency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill.
Earlier today, the Trinamool Congress sought an adjournment of the Parliament session citing assembly elections in five states. In a letter to the Rajya Sabha Chairman, TMC national spokesperson and RS member Derek O'Brien said due to the polls, MPs of his party would not be able to attend the Parliament session.
"I am writing to you as the Parliamentary Party leader (Rajya Sabha) for the All India Trinamool Congress. Sir, we urge you to consider the adjournment of the ensuing Parliament session, because of the declaration of elections in five states," he said.
"The Election Commission of India, on 26th February 2021, has announced election for five states, including Bengal. Due to the ongoing intensive election preparations in the State, the Members of Parliament from the All India Trinamool Congress would find it difficult to attend the second part of the Budget Session beginning from 8th March 2021," he wrote in the letter.
TMC MP Sudeep Bandyopadhyay has also written to the Lok Sabha Speaker on the same issue, requesting that Parliament be adjourned due to the polls. While O'Brien's letter is dated March 8, Bandyopadhyay had written to the LS Speaker on February 6.