Lok Sabha adjourned as Oppn demands MoS Teni’s dismissal; govt says ‘matter sub judice’

With Opposition members demanding removal of Ajay Mishra Teni, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, Lok Sabha was Wednesday adjourned twice and the House could not take up a discussion on price rise.

The issue of price rise was listed for discussion under rule 193 in the revised list of business of the Lok Sabha.

Soon after proceedings resumed at 2 pm, Opposition members came into the well of the House, holding placards that read: ‘Modiji Teni ko barkhast karo (Modiji, dismiss Teni)’. Amid their sloganeering, papers were laid, but the House could barely function for 10 minutes.

On Teni, the government insisted there is no question of discussing the issue in Parliament, as its a “matter sub judice.” After the proceedings were adjourned, Union Minister and leader of the Rajya Sabha, Piyush Goyal, told reporters: “It’s a baseless issue. The investigation is going on as per Supreme Court instructions and discussion on sub judice matters can’t happen as per parliamentary rules.” He alleged that the Opposition was not letting Parliament function.

“The Opposition parties are trying to spread misinformation. Today in Rajya Sabha, a discussion on the omicron variant was scheduled, but the Opposition has decided to not raise any public issues,” Goyal alleged.

In the Lok Sabha, the items listed for the day that could not be taken up are a discussion on price rise, and financial business, including supplementary demands for grants of second batch for 2021-22 and introduction, consideration and passing of Appropriation (No. 5) Bill 2021.

Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the chair, repeatedly asked the Opposition members to go back to their seats and cooperate with the chair.

“There is a discussion on price rise and on other topics. There is an important discussion on price rise. You have all demanded this. All the members want to discuss it,” Agrawal said, before adjourning the House till Thursday.

Earlier in the day, several Opposition MPs, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, had given notice for adjournment over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

Soon after the House assembled at 11 am, the Opposition tried to raise this. However, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asked them to allow the House to take up the question hour. “The House shouldn’t set wrong practices. The Question Hour should run. We can discuss it later,” Birla told them. The MPs of Congress, DMK and Left parties then trooped to the Well of the House, shouting, “We want justice.”

The Speaker took up questions and Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw began replying, even as Opposition members continued sloganeering. A this point, Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned until 2 pm.

The Lok Sabha had been functioning normally for the past two weeks.

In his notice for adjournment, Rahul Gandhi had said: “The UP police SIT report has highlighted that the massacre of farmers at Lakhimpur was a pre-planned conspiracy and not a negligent act. The SIT has recommended the modification of the charges against all the accused. The government should immediately sack the MoS Home Affairs, Ajay Kumar Mishra, and ensure justice is delivered to the families of the victims.”

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