New Delhi: Opposition in Rajya Sabha today thwarted government's attempts to introduce the crucial mines and minerals amendment bill by creating a furore demanding Prime Minister's statement on the release of a separatist Kashmiri leader, forcing adjournment of the House for the day.
Continued uproar, with several opposition members trooping into the Well and raising slogans, led Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the House for the day after the government failed to introduce the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment bill.
Even opposition members like D Raja (CPI), Sitaram Yechury and M P Achuthan (CPI-M), T Subbarami Reddy (Congress) and Derek O'Brien (TMC), also could not move a statutory resolution disapproving the ordinance on the issue due to the ruckus.
The protesting members were demanding the Prime Minister's statement on the release of separatist Masarat Alam by the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir, insisting he should do so in the Upper House as he had made a statement in Lok Sabha earlier.
“We will not allow an insult to Rajya Sabha”, they shouted as Congress and JD(U) members trooped into the Well, while members of Left parties, TMC and SP were in aisle protesting on the issue.
Appealing to the members to consider the key legislation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it was not fair to insist on the Prime Minister's statement two hours after the debate on J&K issue was over. The Prime Minister was present in the House throughout the debate.
“My appeal to all colleagues in Opposition is that the Coal ordinance and Mines and Minerals ordinance ....are two important amendment bills which ensure resources to state governments, where tribals are there..., should kindly be considered,” Jaitley said.
He also said that several states would also get resources. “My humble request is to consider these two bills one after the other,” he added.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had intervened in the Lok Sabha on the issue. “He should come here and speak. It has never happened earlier that PM has spoken in one House and not in the other.”
Deputy Leader of Congress Anand Sharma said, “PM should clarify. He came to the House and left without speaking.”
To this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “When PM was present in the House, not a single member demanded his intervention. If they had made the demand then, he could have replied. You are asking now. Don't try to twist...”
Even the Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said, “You should have asked the PM to reply when he was present in the House. ...The J&K debate is over now. The Home Minister has replied. I have to go to next item....
“It is the resolution given by the Opposition and not the government. It is yours not mine,” he said and called CPI leader Raja to move the resolution. “I want to move the resolution. How can I do when the House is not in order,” Raja said.
The Opposition members remained unrelenting while the Chair kept calling the CPI leader to move the resolution.
Kurien even asked other members to speak on the resolution opposing the ordinance, but none of them obliged.
As turmoil continued in the House, Kurien adjourned the House for the day.