Repeated adjournments in Rajya Sabha as Jaitley, opposition spar

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New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha saw repeated adjournments during Zero Hour and Question Hour on Wednesday over Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks that the opposition was making Zero Hour a TV opportunity.

The opposition members, irrespective of party affiliations, vociferously objected to the remarks of Leader of the house in the Rajya Sabha and demanded that these be expunged.

Several opposition members raised a Point of Order and gave notice under Rule 267 after questioning Jaitley on the government’s reported decision to stop printing Rs 2,000 currency notes and rumoured plans to introduce Rs 1,000 notes again besides other big denomination coins.

Jaitley refused to answer the queries, while the Point of Order and the notice under Rule 267 were rejected by the Chair.

“The Chair must be guided by the principle that you cannot have Zero Hour run for the benefit of television cameras,” the Minister said.

Jaitley demanded that Congress member Anand Sharma’s speech in the house should be expunged as it referred to high constitutional authorities.

Speaking just before Jaitley, Sharma had said that the Narendra Modi government has been trying to belittle national icons such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

“Every nation and every society remembers with respect those who have made sacrifice for the nation. Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi — there has been an attempt by this government to belittle them,” Sharma said.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), Mahatma Gandhi was compared to (Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader) Deendayal Upadhyaya,” he added while referring to President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech after assuming office.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the centenary of such persons was being celebrated who have made “no contribution in India’s freedom struggle”.

In response, Jaitley said the Congress is “enacting this scene because they don’t want a particular reference (about Samjhauta Express blasts probe) to be made during Zero Hour for which some members have given notice”.

The Congress members trooped near the podium and started shouting slogans, after which Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien adjourned the House till noon.

However, as soon as the House met again at noon, Azad demanded that Jaitley’s remarks be expunged from the record of proceedings.

Other opposition leaders also joined him in the demand, after which the Chair adjourned the house twice for 10 minutes.

When the House reconvened at 12.32 p.m., Chairman Hamid Ansari told the house that the Chair would go through the records and any objectionable remarks would be expunged.

–IANS

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