RS adjourned after Opposition uproar over PNB scam; other issues

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned on Monday for the day amid uproar by the Opposition over the Rs 12,700-crore PNB scam and other issues including National Democratic Alliance-ally TDP demanding special package for Andhra Pradesh.

As soon as the Upper House met at 2 pm after witnessing two quick adjournments of proceedings in the first half of the day, members from opposition parties trooped into the well creating a ruckus over issues ranging from the Rs 12,700 crore alleged fraud by fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi, to constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board.

Amid slogans by the opposition like “Nirav Modi wapas lao” (bring back Nirav Modi), Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien who was in the chair stood on his feet and urged members with folded hands to allow proceedings.

However, noisy protests continued amid Kurien’s remarks that “You are all agitated on separate issues. I know each subject is very important.”

Kurien said if members allow, a short duration discussion can be held on frauds in public sector banks and after that different issues could be taken one by one.

He said for today, he has given permission to conduct a debate on frauds in public sector banks.

However, members relentlessly shouted slogans and displayed placards like “Constitute Cauvery Management Board Immediately”, “Keep your promises” and “Implement special category status Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act…”.

Stating that it was “indiscipline”, Kurien asked Leader of the Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad whether the Opposition will allow a discussion, to which the Congress leader said that if other parties are ready, they have no objection.

Azad further said the government and the prime minister had “failed” and banks are without money while likes of Nirav Modi were absconding.

Kurien then adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier proceedings were disrupted twice and the House saw two adjournments – first for 10 minutes and then till 1400 hours.

While the TMC led the charge against India’s biggest bank fraud, Tamil parties – the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam came together to demand implementation of the court order on constitution of the Caurvey Water Management Board.

Telugu Desam Party and a Congress member demanded implementation of the promise to give special status to Andhra Pradesh after Telengana was carved out of it.

AIADMK, DMK, TMC, TDP and KVP Ramachandra Rao of Congress rushed into the well of the House, raising slogans on their respective issues.

Earlier Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu first adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes and then till 1400 hours when similar scenes were repeated on reassembly despite his assurance to members that discussions on issues would be allowed under appropriate rules.