LS passes Essential Defence Services Bill amid Oppn protests

New Delhi: Lok Sabha passed the Essential Defence Services Bill-2021 on Tuesday amid protests by opposition members over various issues that led to the proceedings being adjourned for a third time till 4 PM.

As the House reconvened at 2 PM, Speaker Om Birla asked the protesting members to go back to their seats and said that he would give them a chance to speak.

However, the opposition continued their protests over the Pegasus snooping controversy and the contentious farm laws.

Amid the din, the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 was passed.

The proceedings were then adjourned till 4 PM.

In the morning when the House assembled at 11 am, the opposition members came to the well and started sloganeering over the alleged snooping through the Pegasus software and demanding scrapping of the three farm laws enacted last year.

When questions relating to agriculture and farmers’ welfare came for discussion during the Question Hour, Birla asked the protesting members to raise farmers-related queries in the House.

“I wanted you to question the minister with regard to farmers welfare, but you are engaging in sloganeering which is not acceptable… You don’t want to discuss farm issues…,” Birla said.

However, members from opposition parties continued their sloganeering.

Speaker Birla after allowing the Question Hour to continue for about 40 minutes amidst the protests, adjourned the House for 20 minutes till 12 noon.

When the House re-assembled at noon, the opposition protests continued.

Senior MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, who was in the chair, first allowed the papers related to various ministries to be laid in the House.

He also announced that the adjournment motion moved by a few members were rejected by the Speaker.

As the protests continued, Mahtab appealed to the opposition members to go to their seats so that the House can function normally.

As the opposition ignored his plea, Mahtab adjourned the House till 2 pm after 10 minutes of business.

The House proceedings have been marred since the beginning of the Monsoon session on July 19 as opposition members protest demanding discussion on the Pegasus snooping issue and farm laws.