Lok Sabha proceedings were disrupted for the third consecutive day on Thursday due to protests by opposition members over the three new farms laws, but amid repeated adjournments the government managed to introduce a bill and the House took up the Zero Hour where various members raised issues related to their states and constituencies. During the Question Hour, which takes place soon after the House convenes, Union minister Nitin Gadkari replied to a few questions related to the ministry of roads and highways.
But as opposition members continued with their protest by trooping into the Well of the House, the proceedings were adjourned. Amid continuous uproar, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced a bill to amend the arbitration law to ensure that all stakeholders get an opportunity to seek unconditional stay on enforcement of arbitral awards where the agreement or contract is "induced by fraud or corruption".
Lok Sabha meets from 4 pm to 8 pm and at the fag end of the day's proceedings, the House took up the Zero Hour for 30 minutes where members raised issues related to their states and constituencies. When Lok Sabha assembled at 4 pm, members of the Opposition started shouting slogans against the government and the agri laws. Gadkari gave oral replies to a few questions related to his ministry.
But as sloganeering continued, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asked members to return to their seats. "Question Hour is the right of MPs...This behaviour is not good and I again request you all to return to your seats so that the House proceedings run properly," he said.
Shouting slogans and showing placards are against parliamentary tradition, he added. But Opposition members refused to relent, forcing Birla to adjourn the House till 5 pm after about 20 minutes of proceedings.
When the House re-convened at 5 pm, members of the Opposition again started raising slogans. Some ministers and members laid papers on the table of the House, and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill, 2021.
Meenakshi Lekhi, who was in the Chair, asked the members to return to their seats, but they continued with their protests. Soon, she adjourned the House till 6 pm after about 15 minutes of proceedings. When the House reassembled at 6 pm, the Opposition continued its protests shouting slogans and showing placards.
Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the Chair, appealed to the members to go back to their seats so that the House can function normally. "You have every right to raise any issue that you would like to. Please exercise this right. Please go to your seats, please don't show the placards. You can raise your issues through the discussion on the motion thanking the President for his address," he said.
However, the opposition ignored his pleas and continued the protests, forcing Agrawal to adjourn the House till 7 pm after just 10 minutes of proceedings. As the House assembled after the third adjournment at 7 pm, the opposition members again shouted slogans against the agri laws.
Agrawal again appealed to the members to go back to their seats so that the House can function normally. However, the House was adjourned for the fourth time till 8:30 pm as members did not yield to the request of the Chair. At 8.30 pm, the Zero Hour was taken up as opposition members kept raising slogans. Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi's borders for over two months demanding rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.