Day after scuffle, Lok Sabha speaker Birla warns MPs
Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla on Tuesday read the riot Act to parliamentarians of both the ruling alliance and the Opposition in the wake of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress members of Parliament (MPs) being involved in a scuffle inside the House on Monday.
“Opposition parties must clarify whether placards should be brought in the House or not. Strict action will be taken against the MPs, be it of any party, who come to the well of the House. They will be suspended for the entire session,” Birla said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The Speaker referred to an all-party meeting convened earlier in the day and ruled that any member who crosses over to the other side during proceedings would be suspended for the entire session.
The ruckus in Parliament took place against the backdrop of the communal violence that shook north-east Delhi last week and led to more than 40 people being killed and several being seriously injured. Opposition parties, led by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, have been demanding the resignation of Union home minister Amit Shah over the issue.
The situation in the Rajya Sabha was a little better with the Union government and the Opposition parties agreeing to hold a detailed discussion on the violence, despite repeated adjournments on Tuesday. The time and date of the discussion will be fixed after consultation with chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu, even as Opposition parties have demanded an “urgent” discussion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also stepped in and told BJP MPs that the main message of the Union government was that unity and harmony are prerequisites of development. All parliamentarians should make efforts to maintain peace and harmony in the country, Modi said at a parliamentary party meeting.
“Prime Minister Modi said that for development, there must be peace, unity and harmony. He also said that even today there are some parties that keep party interest above national interest,” said parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi.
The Prime Minister told members of the ruling party that national interest was supreme for the BJP, Joshi said. “Prime Minister Modi at the BJP parliamentary party meeting said that we are here for the national interest and the nation is supreme,” he said.
In Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Birla had said that the discussion on the Delhi violence will take place on 11 March after the festival of Holi. Opposition parties, particularly the Congress, have said they will continue to seek an urgent discussion but added that they were hopeful that the Rajya Sabha will take up the discussion as early as Wednesday.
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