RS adjourned for the day amid 'isolated' TMC protest

New Delhi : The Rajya Sabha was on Tuesday adjourned for the day amid protests by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) members who came near the Chairman's podium shouting slogans, causing repeated adjournments in the post-lunch sitting and not allowing BJP President Amit Shah to speak.

The high drama also saw Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu almost naming the TMC MPs and ordering their removal from the House.

As soon as the House met at 2 p.m, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu called out BJP President Amit Shah to speak on a short duration discussion on hiked MSP for farmers and the agricultural situation.

Just then, TMC Member Nadimul Haque stood up and asked about a notice his party had given under Rule 267. Naidu said their issue would be taken up on Wednesday first thing.

Shah then started speaking on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) announced by the government for the kharif crop. He had spoken only for a few minutes when TMC MPs trooped near the Chairmana's podium and started shouting slogans.

The BJP Ministers stood up and protested against the TMC members' conduct. MoS Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel asked the Chair to name the protesting MPs.

Amid the ruckus, Naidu adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

As soon as the House was reconvened at 2:24 p.m., the TMC MPs again trooped near the Chair's podium.

On this, Naidu read out Rule 255 from the rule book on the conduct of the Rajya Sabha that empowers the Chairman to name an MP disrupting the proceedings and tell him to withdraw from the House for the entire day.

At this, the Congress MPs stood up and loudly protested against any such step by the Chair.

Naidu then asked the floor leaders of various parties one by one whether the discussion on farmers' distress should be continued or not. Almost every floor leader cutting across party lines, barring the Congress, RJD and AAP, opined that the discussion should be continued.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said the discussion could be taken up when the House was in order. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) member Manoj Jha said the current situation of the House was like the "past revisiting us". An Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member said the TMC should be heard first briefly.

The rest of the leaders including from the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, CPI, AIADMK, Shiv Sena, SAD and others said the discussion should be allowed to continue.

Naidu adjourned the House till 3 p.m. But as soon as the House met at 3 p.m., it was adjourned for the day amid TMC sloganeering.