Protesting Congress members force two adjournments in RS

New Delhi: Congress members continued their protest against alleged “vendetta politics” in the ‘National Herald’ case for the third day on Thursday, creating pandemonium in Rajya Sabha, forcing two adjournments in pre-noon session.

Congress members, shouting slogans against the government, trooped into the Well, while AIADMK members moved into the aisles demanding that the devastation caused by the Chennai floods be declared national calamity.

The noisy scenes first forced Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the House till 1130 hours and then again till noon.

No sooner was a message about the day marking the anniversary of adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN was read out by Chairman Hamid Ansari, Congress members stormed the Well shouting slogans like “Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi (authoritarianism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be tolerated).”

Amid slogan shouting, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien got the listed papers of the day laid on the table and then called for Zero Hour mentions. But the noisy scenes continued.

Health Minister J P Nadda said the government was ready for a discussion on the issue and wanted it to be initiated immediately.

Kurien asked members to return to their seats and start discussion. But no one heeded to his pleas, forcing him to adjourn the House till 11.30 hours.

Similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled.

BJP members too were on their feet, as Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government was ready for discussion on “all issues”.

“They are running away from debate. Start discussion on…On all issues,” he said amid din.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien tried to pacify the slogan- shouting Congress members and asked them to return to their seats, but they did not budge, forcing him to adjourn the House till 12 noon.

Earlier, Chairman Hamid Ansari mentioned that today was being observed as World Human Rights Day. On this day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

India, he said, has always stood for protection and promotion of human rights and “on this day, we rededicate ourself to the principles of human rights.”

The theme for Human Rights Day this year is ‘Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always’, Ansari said, adding that a year-long campaign will be launched to commemorate two human rights covenants — the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.