April 13, 2024

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Image credit: Deccan Herald

Rajya Sabha sees adjournment as Congress demands debate on Chinese incursion issue

On Friday, the Rajya Sabha was set to adjourn because the Congress party was insistent on having a debate about the “Chinese incursion” in Arunachal Pradesh. Since December 13, when The Hindu reported that numerous Indian and Chinese soldiers had been hurt in fights at Yangste in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang region, the Congress and other opposition parties have been attempting to bring up the subject.

On Friday, Congress members pushed for the Chair to approve their notices under Rule 267 that attempted to interrupt the day’s business to begin a debate on the matter.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh halted the proceedings for 25 minutes after the members yelled protests and then filed into the House well.

The issue of Chinese encroachment in Arunachal Pradesh has been brought up by members during the past few days. It is a very important matter, and when I intervened on December 14, the Chair informed me that I was unable to bring it up because I had not given prior notice. Few media outlets gave the impression that I was stopped to bring up the issue since I hadn’t given notice; thus, this perception was spread outside. Discussions requested by opposition parties are not permitted, according to Mr. Kharge.

In response, Mr. Harivansh said that accusations should not be made against the Chair and cited Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar’s ruling from the previous week stating that he was unable to accept notices under Rule 267 in the absence of such pleas without specifically naming the rule that was being sought to be set aside.

Eight notices according to Rule 267 were received on Friday, but all but one, submitted by Raghav Chadha of the AAP, were devoid of any reference to the rule that was requested to be suspended in order to open a discussion, he said, adding that the Chairman was still considering the notices.

He started mentioning “Zero Hour” while the Congressmen screamed slogans. But the interruptions and slogan yelling persisted. After a few submissions during Zero Hour, a few Congress members invaded the Well of the House, prompting Mr. Harivansh to postpone the proceedings until noon.