The fifth session of the 17th Lok Sabha continued for 12 days, where the presidential address took place on January 29 and the Union Budget was presented on February 1. While the government and the opposition sparred over the contentious agricultural laws, almost the entire of last week was lost due to the opposition's agitation on the floor of the House.
What really stood out in this session of the Parliament was the issue of the breach of privilege motion. As many as 13 breach of privilege motion notices were submitted by members of Parliament, and the same are being examined by the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) BJP Lok Sabha MP from Jharkhand Nishikant Dubey submitted three out of the 13 privilege motion notices. Dubey submitted a notice against Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra for her comments against former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and said, "Despite the fact that the remarks were expunged from the record, it continued to be put on social media and was published by a daily. Thus, I demand action should be taken against the said member and her membership be terminated."
"The matter should be referred to the committee of privileges under rule 227 of the rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha for examination investigation and report," he added.
Dubey has moved one against Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary for his comments against Veer Savarkar and Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Chowdhury reportedly was unable to substantiate his charges against the two.
The BJP MP also move a notice against Rahul Gandhi for insulting the Chair and asking for two minutes of silence for the farmers who had died during the protest. A similar notice against Rahul Gandhi was also put in place by BJP MP and party chief whip Rakesh Singh, Rajendra Agarwal and Bihar MP Dr Sanjay Jaiswal.
BJP's Ajay Mishra also submitted a notice against Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, citing violation of Parliamentary norms. Former Union Minister for Law and Justice PP Chaudhary also moved privilege notices against Mahua Moitra and Chowdhury.
While speaking in Parliament, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had called Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg "persona non grata". Chaudhary had said that India has good diplomatic relations with Sweden and that the Congress MP's comment would tarnish the image of that country.
Congress MP from Kerala Hibi Eden sought a privilege motion notice for not being invited to a government program which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend on February 14. In his notice, Eden asked why despite being a local MP he was not invited to be present on the dais, and MoS External Affairs V Muraleedharan, who is Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, was asked to be present instead.
Another Congress MP TN Prathapan moved a privilege motion notice against Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for calling Rahul Gandhi 'doomsday man' during her reply to the Budget discussion on Saturday.
Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) MP NK Premachandran moved a notice against Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar saying that the amendments offered by the government to farmers were the same amendments rejected by Parliament, thus making it a gross violation.
Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal also submitted a breach of privilege motion notice for being attacked in Punjab while he was canvassing for his party. Stones were pelted at Badal's car in Jalalabad, and people armed with sticks gheraoed him. The former Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab alleged that the Congress had a hand in the breach of security, despite him being a high risk security protectee.
Responding to the notices, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said, "The privilege committee will examine the notices and on the basis of the rules and procedures of the Parliament appropriate action will be taken."