New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) After the three-day furore over the draft NRC in Assam, normalcy appeared to return in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday as Zero Hour and Question Hour ran smoothly but the issue again erupted in the post-lunch session after a TMC delegation was detained in Assam.
The Upper House was scheduled to take up a short-duration discussion on the “recent increase in MSP for kharif crops and challenges in agriculture”, to be initiated by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah during the post-lunch session.
As soon as Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu called for taking up the debate, TMC’s Derek O’Brian rose and demanded a statement from Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the detention of the party delegation in Assam and alleged manhandling of party MPs on the delegation.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad intervened and urged the Chair to allow members from Assam to have their say on the NRC issue.
Finance Minister Piyush Goel and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel accused the opposition of not allowing Shah to speak.
Naidu said that he will request Rajnath Singh to come and reply on the issue.
Meanwhile, TMC members trooped near the Chairman’s podium and started sloganeering.
Taking serious note, Naidu remarked: “It has become a fashion for the agitating members to disrupt the house. The members (TMC) do not want to discuss the burning issue of the farmers.”
“You don’t even want to discuss the NRC issue. You did not allow the Home Minister to speak in the house when he was here,” he said.
The Chair appealed to the agitating members to go back to their seats but they continued sloganeering. He, then, adjourned the house for the day amid the din.
Earlier, when the house met, the Chair congratulated the best parliamentarian awardees.
He, then, informed the members about the points of orders raised on Wednesday by TMC’s Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Congress’s Anand Sharma over Shah’s remarks during his speech on the NRC.
“He (Roy) himself has answered the point of order, saying that if the Chairman permits, the member can resume his speech. So, that matter ended there,” Naidu said in his ruling.
Mentioning Anand Sharma’s point of order and his allegation that one of the members used derogatory and unparliamentary words against former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and subsequent Prime Ministers, Naidu said that he had gone through the records and found that no mention of persons, as alleged by Sharma, was actually made by the BJP chief.
“Rather, it was Anand Sharma who, while making the said allegation, used one unparliamentary word, which he attributed to Shah and therefore that word needs to be expunged from the parliamentary records,” he said.
Naidu said that Sharma met him and “agreed with me and that is why, I am closing the matter there itself”.
Amid objections by Sharma and some other Congress members, Naidu said: “Let us close this matter here. I treat this matter as closed.”
Thereafter, the house took up the matters of urgent public importance and also the Question Hour.
The day the draft NRC was released on Sunday, the opposition members raised concerns and hd demanded a discussion.
The issue was discussed on Tuesday but Home Minister Rajnath Singh could not reply as the TMC members staged a protest to demand Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement.
Shah has also spoken on the issue and had said that earlier governments did not have the courage to implement the Assam accord signed in 1985, which provoked opposition protest.