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Rajya Sabha: Repeated Adjournments Amid Opposition Protest on Price Rise, Other Issues

Lok Sabha adjourned after passage of Antarctic Bill, 2022.
Opposition MPs holding placards stage a protest in the Well of Rajya Sabha over the inflation, 5% GST on essential items and other issues during the Monsoon Session of Parliament

Opposition MPs holding placards stage a protest in the Well of Rajya Sabha over the inflation, 5% GST on essential items and other issues during the Monsoon Session of Parliament. Image Courtesy: ANI

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned twice in the pre-lunch period on Friday amid protests by the Opposition on price rise and other issues.

When the House reassembled at 12 after a brief adjournment, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh conducted the Question Hour amid protest by Opposition parties for almost an hour.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Kailash Choudhary, Minister for Communication Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel and Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal replied to the questions amid protests by opposition members, who had trooped inside the well.

The Deputy Chairman urged the protesting members to return to their respective seats.

Goyal said the government is ready for discussion on the issue. However, the Opposition is not ready for this and is obstructing the House, he said.

The minister, who was replying to questions related to wheat purchase, said the entire world is discussing food security and India is the only country which has balance.

"Even in such conditions, our Opposition is not ready for discussion. The majority of us want a discussion. Even the government wants discussion on this," said Goyal.

Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge sought a discussion under Rule 267 for suspension of business to discuss the issue of price rise of essential commodities.

However, Singh said the Chairman has already rejected the demand in the morning.

After this, the Deputy Chairman adjourned the House till 2:30 pm.

Earlier when the House assembled for the day, independent member Kapil Sibal took oath as a member of the Upper House of Parliament.

After laying of the papers, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he has received notices under Rule 267 from many members including Kharge.

"This has been earlier disposed of by the House," he added.

The Chairman said many members have also given notice under Rule 267 to discuss the Agnipath scheme and alleged misuse of organisations.

There are opportunities to discuss these issues through other notices, he stated.

After his ruling on the notices under Rule 267, many members from Opposition parties including the Congress started protesting and waving placards.

Asking members not to bring placards, Naidu said, "I will take a serious view. Don't do it".

The Chairman also rued that a week has been wasted. "

Both houses of Parliament have failed to conduct any significant business since the Monsoon Session started on July 18.

As some protesting members wanted to raise a point of order, Naidu said the House is not in order.

"There is no point in raising a point of order when the House is not in order," the Chairman said.

Later he adjourned the proceedings till 12 pm as many opposition members were standing at their seats as well as in the aisle.

Lok Sabha passes Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022

The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022, which seeks to extend the application of domestic laws to research stations set up by India in the Antarctic region.

Soon after the Bill was passed, the House was adjourned for the day to meet again on Monday at 2 PM.

As soon as the House reassembled at 2 pm on Friday following the second adjournment of the day, the Indian Antarctica Bill, 2022 was taken up for discussion after Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh moved it for consideration.

The Bill seeks to extend the application of domestic laws to research stations set up by India in the Antarctic region. India has two active research stations in the Antarctic -- Maitri and Bharti -- where scientists are involved in research.

The Bill proposes to prohibit Indian expedition to Antarctica without a permit or written authorisation of another party to the Antarctic Treaty, provide for inspection by an officer appointed by the government and for penalty for contravention of certain provisions of the legislation.

It also seeks to constitute a fund for the welfare of Antarctic research work and protection of the environment of the icy continent.

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