The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were disrupted on Tuesday amid uproar over the ongoing spat between the Central Bureau of Investigation and the West Bengal government.
The Upper House was adjourned for the day after reassembling at 2 pm, PTI reported. The Lok Sabha was also disrupted repeatedly. This is the second consecutive day proceedings in Parliament were disrupted because of the controversy.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan first adjourned the Lower House till noon after failing to bring order. “The Supreme Court is hearing the case,” The Hindu quoted Mahajan as saying. “The CBI is taking action. But you do not want to believe in any institution.”
The protests continued after the Lok Sabha reconvened and the Zero Hour started. Members of the Lower House protested after Bharatiya Janata Party leader Nishikant Dubey accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of stopping an independent investigation being carried out by the CBI and urged the House to call it unconstitutional.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor raised the matter of Sabarimala protests and said “irresponsible political parties” were hijacking the genuine protests by devotees. He sought a law to protect religious freedom, The Hindu reported.
After the Lok Sabha reconvened at 2 pm, BJP MP Hukumdev Narayan Yadav started the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address even as Opposition members continued to protest. Yadav hailed the central government’s Jan Dhan Yojana and the direct benefit transfer schemes, saying that the Narendra Modi government is striving to provide “roti, kapada and makaan [food, clothing, and home]” to every citizen.
Mahajan adjourned the house till 2.30 pm after Samajwadi Party MP Dharmendra Yadav protested against Hukumdev Narayan Yadav’s speech and sought that some portions of it be expunged. Opposition members continued to protest when the House met again. Subsequently, the Lower House was adjourned till 4 pm.
Meanwhile, the government told the Lok Sabha that there is no proposal to scrap the sedition law, which provides for a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, PTI reported. Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said amendments in criminal law are a continuous process, made after consultations with various stakeholders.
When the House reconvened at 4 pm, Trinamool Congress MPs walked out, accusing the prime minister of not addressing the developments in West Bengal, The Hindu reported.
The crisis in Kolkata, which dominated Parliament through the day, started on February 3 as Mamata Banerjee began a public dharna to “save the Constitution”, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of launching a coup in the state.
This followed an attempt by a team from the Central Bureau of Investigation to question the head of the Kolkata police about two ponzi schemes allegedly involving senior politicians. The CBI is controlled by the Centre, while the Kolkata police by the West Bengal government.
Some CBI officials were detained by the Kolkata police for a few hours on Sunday evening. The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the CBI not to take coercive action against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar but directed him to cooperate with the investigation.