New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The Lok Sabha on Thursday witnessed another day of protest-filled proceedings as the opposition demanded a debate on incidents of mob lynchings.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said a decision on the debate would be taken at the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee.
The House was briefly adjourned after it met at 11 a.m.
When it met again, the Question Hour was resumed amid sloganeering by Congress MPs, who were standing near the Speaker’s podium.
After the Question Hour, the Speaker allowed opposition members to speak on the issue. She said she was not against the debate.
However, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said two notices were submitted for the debate.
“You are ready (for debate) but government is not ready,” Kharge said.
The first notice was issued under rule 193, for a short duration discussion, and later again the opposition submitted notices under adjournment motion as it was not taken up, Kharge said.
“When we met you I was very happy when you said you are ready for the debate, and we should convince the government side…” Kharge said.
Speaker Mahajan immediately retorted saying: “Don’t twist my words.”
Kharge, however, insisted that the Speaker had said she was ready for discussion, but the government was not.
Mahajan said: “I said I am ready for debate but everyone has to be ready. That is why BAC (Business Advisory Committee) is meeting today.”
Kharge interrupted saying the Congress would not ask for revoking the suspension of their six MPs.
“We will not ask about revoking suspension” – to which Mahajan said they have “not yet apologised”.
“We will overlook that. But we want to take up this issue of public importance,” Kharge said, referring to the mob lynchings and atrocities against the Dalits and Muslims by cow vigilantes.
“What do you mean by saying you will not ask about it? You have not even apologised yet,” Mahajan said.
As Kharge asked for the debate, he was joined by Sudip Bandyopadhyay of Trinamool Congress, who said if possible, the discussion should start on Thursday itself.
“Mob lynching is a serious issue. We must start the discussion immediately, if possible, today,” he said.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Mohammed Salim meanwhile raised his pitch and questioned why the issue was not being debated under the adjournment motion despite it being an important issue.
“For the last two weeks, we have been submitting notices under adjournment motion. Fifty persons have been killed in mob lynching. People are living in fear. If we don’t discuss it who will?” said Salim.
“Should we take adjournment motion out of the rule books? A 16-year-old boy is being killed and we are not discussing it… what are we doing here?” Salim said.
Mahajan said: “I have not denied debate on any issue. I did not say adjournment motions should not be admitted, I only said I will not suspend Question Hour.”
“In matters as this, everyone should be taken on board,” she said.
Parliamentary Affairs MInister Ananth Kumar meanwhile said that the opposition wanted to discuss violence that was occurring outside, but did not want to speak on the incident that took place in the House when paper bits were thrown at the Speaker.
“Just asking to revoke suspension will not help… I would also request Mohammed Salim, you want to discuss the violence outside, but what happened in the House, was it right? This is the temple of democracy, the Speaker is the head, and on her paper bits were thrown. If they would have done it outside they would have been charged under IPC. We are ready for debate but we will not allow this in the House,” he said.
The Speaker said a final decision would be taken in the BAC.
She then took up Zero Hour mentions, as opposition members continued to raise slogans.
The House was later adjourned for lunch.