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Parliament Watch: Sonia Gandhi Asked Congress MPs to Ensure Both Houses Get Adjourned

Congress president Sonia Gandhi leads a protest against Maharashtra government formation issue, at Parliament premises in New Delhi. (Image: PTI)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi leads a protest against Maharashtra government formation issue, at Parliament premises in New Delhi. (Image: PTI)

Your dose of gossip from the Parliament proceedings.

Rahul’s Re-entry and Sonia’s Anger: After giving the first week of the Winter Session of Parliament a miss, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi turned up in the Lok Sabha on Monday. His was the first question listed to be taken up for discussion, but Gandhi said there is no point asking his question on the issue of tribals as “democracy has been murdered”, referring to the political coup in Maharashtra. While he spoke in the Lok Sabha, he was conspicuous by his absence during the protests by Congress MPs outside the Parliament building. The protests were led by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who sources said told her party’s MPs to ensure the Houses get adjourned over the Maharashtra issue.

Joint Session Plans: Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned till 2pm Tuesday after protests by Congress lawmakers, and the forecast for tomorrow is possibility of more of the same. Tuesday being the Constitution Day, a special joint session of the Parliament will be held that will be addressed by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others. The Congress and other opposition parties have planned a protest near the Ambedkar statue in the premises against the “subversion” of Constitution. The party is also mulling a boycott of the session, although no other party has supported the call yet.

SPG Amendment: The ruling BJP took advantage of the din in the Parliament over the Maharashtra government formation and introduced the SPG Amendment Bill to tweak the rules that provide for protection of former PMs and their families by the elite force. After the Gandhis were stripped off SPG protection earlier this month, only PM Modi is now entitled to SPG protection. But the government says the bulletproof Range Rover SUV and other special gadgets used by SPG to guard the Gandhis will be given to the CRPF for their protection.

Uniform Row: A week after their military-style uniforms created a controversy, Rajya Sabha marshals on Monday were again back in traditional Indian attire but without the 'pagri'. The two marshals, who flank the Chair, came to the House wearing dark-coloured Indian ‘bandhgalas’, a dress that a Congress member remarked was "very smart."