Members of the Aam Aadmi Party too were in the Well, apparently over the sealing of commercial establishments in Delhi.
New Delhi: Differences among the Opposition parties over floor coordination in Parliament were exposed on Monday as AAP and Samajwadi Party members raised a ruckus in the Rajya Sabha and the Trinamul Congress took a divergent stand from them, saying it did not believe in Zero Hour being disrupted.
As soon as the House convened and papers were laid on the table of the House, Samajwadi MPs trooped into the Well raising slogans against alleged encounter killings by the police in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh. Members of the Aam Aadmi Party too were in the Well, apparently over the sealing of commercial establishments in Delhi.
Irked by the disruptions, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “I don’t want to run the House like this. Let us not have an encounter in Zero Hour. You don’t want the House to run. You don’t want Question Hour.” He then adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
An irritated Trinamul Congress chief national spokesman Derek O’Brien, who had just managed to complete in the din his Zero Hour mention of eight trains to West Bengal being cancelled, later told reporters: “We believe Zero Hour should run.
Disrupting Zero Hour and Question Hour helps the government, and not the Opposition.”
On the disruption by newly-elected AAP members, he said: “The AAP can’t come with three MPs and every day disrupt Parliament over some Delhi issue.”
Incidentally, 17 Opposition parties had met on February 1 to decide on floor coordination in Parliament and had decided more effort was needed as far as cooperation in the Rajya Sabha was concerned, while the coordination in the Lok Sabha was just fine.
TMC sources told this newspaper that Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad had agreed Sunday night that the Opposition parties should raise 10-12 issues and not get stuck with only one issue. A senior TMC leader said floor coordination doesn’t mean all parties can have their own issues. The TMC has also decided to hold a protest outside the Gandhi statue in Parliament over “people’s issues” like the fuel price hike.
While the Congress kept quiet all through the din in the Upper House, outside the House senior Congress leader Pramod Tewari supported the SP on the issue of fake encounters in UP, saying: “Encounters in itself should not be a problem. But the police should use it only as much force as is needed to stop or catch a criminal. This is a cold-blooded attempt to murder.”
It may be recalled that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said at the February 1 meeting that there was an urgent need to work out an Opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh before the 2019 general election.
The SP’s Naresh Agrawal had given a notice under Rule 267 seeking adjournment of proceedings to take up a discussion on the issue of fake encounters, which was rejected by Mr Naidu, who said the matter could be raised through a different notice.