Rajya Sabha witnessed multiple adjournments on Monday as Opposition MPs continued their protest over the Pegasus snooping row and other matters, even as it passed the Inland Vessels Bill-2021 amid the din. When Rajya Sabha reassembled at 3.36 pm after multiple adjournments, the government moved two legislations — The Appropriation (No 4) Bill, 2021 and The Appropriation (No 3) Bill, 2021 — for passage.
Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was in the Chair, asked the protesting Opposition members to go back to their seats and participate in the discussion on the bills. He informed the members that both the bills would be discussed together.
"As you all know these are two very important bills where you can raise financial problems of your states. You also know that these are finance bills, it can be passed automatically. So it is in your interest to discuss it. So please cooperate," Kalita noted. Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary while moving the bills sought cooperation from the House in discussing the bills but in vain.
As Opposition members continued to raise slogans, Kalita adjourned the proceedings for the day till 11 AM on Tuesday. Earlier, when the House reassembled post-lunch at 2 pm, Deputy Chairman Harivansh informed that the government has moved two Bills for consideration.
The Minister of Tribal Affairs introduced the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in Rajya Sabha amid the Opposition protest. Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal moved the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 for consideration and passing.
The Bill aims to bring uniformity in the application of the law relating to inland waterways and navigation within the country. The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 was passed by voice vote amidst the protest and sloganeering by the Opposition after a short reply from the minister.
Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill on July 29, 2021. During the debate on the Bill, certain Opposition members, who were in the well of the House, tore papers and flung those in the air.
Immediately after the passage of the Bill, the deputy chairman adjourned the House for an hour till 3:36 PM. Earlier, Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned twice — first at 11 AM and then at 12 noon — as the uproar by Opposition members over the Pegasus snooping row and other issues continued. While Congress MPs sought a discussion on the farmer agitation, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Left parties sought a debate on the Pegasus snooping issue.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, who chaired the proceedings earlier in the day, said he was willing to consider a discussion on farmers' problems provided members do not disturb proceedings and cooperate. He also appealed to members not to enter the well carrying placards.
But as the Opposition MPs continued to raise the issues, he adjourned the proceedings till 12 pm. When the House reassembled, Deputy Chairman Harivansh made repeated appeals to the protesting members to take their seats and allow the Question Hour to proceed but they did not relent.
He allowed the Question Hour to continue and took some questions amid the din. After about half an hour, the deputy chairman adjourned the House till 2 PM as the Opposition members continued to raise slogans and disrupt proceedings.