Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla stayed away from chairing the proceedings for the second consecutive day as, according to sources, he is anguished that some members are not adhering to the norms and procedures of the house. He skipped the session on Wednesday too as he was “deeply hurt” by the uproar in the lower house of parliament since Tuesday, sources said.
Today, the Lok Sabha was adjourned till noon as vociferous protests and sloganeering by opposition parties over the Delhi violence disrupted proceedings for the fourth straight day. Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader B Mahtab, who filled in for Mr Birla and presided the proceedings, urged the opposition members to allow the house to run, adding that the government should allow a discussion both on Delhi violence and coronavirus. He stated that the speaker is upset with the behaviour of some members’ behaviour and the disruption of the house.
On Tuesday, there was intense uproar in the Lok Sabha over the opposition’s demands for a discussion on the violence in Delhi that has left 49 dead and hundreds injured. Mr Birla declared that a discussion on the subject will be held only after Holi, which is on March 10. You all have agreed to accept the chair’s decision. The government is also ready for a discussion. This would be held after Holi, on the 11th,” Om Birla had said.
The Speaker’s decision to push the discussion after Holi, enraged the members, who threw leaflets and paper balls at the chair. Others rushed to the well of the house to protest.
The chaos in the Lok Sabha has ensured repeated adjournments, allowing little time for any other business since parliament reconvened Monday for the second half of the budget session.
Om Birla had warned that those who came to the well of the house and protested would be suspended for the entire session. He also wanted MPs not to carry placards inside, something that the opposition disagreed with.
Mr Birla, who usually chairs House proceedings at the start of the day, was present in Parliament on Wednesday but didn’t go to the Lok Sabha.
Opposition members are upset with the role of the Speaker and his attempts to pass legislations in the din, not allowing a discussion or an adjournment motion to discuss the Delhi violence.