Published On : Wed, Feb 24th, 2016

Budget session: Politics on protests; JNU row, Rohith Vemula suicide rock Parliament

smriti irani jyotiradityaNew Delhi/Nagpur: There were angry exchanges, slogan-shouting, multiple adjournments, but no debate in the Rajya Sabha, which was scheduled to discuss the JNU controversy and the suicide of Hyderabad research scholar Rohith Vemula. The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till tomorrow after disruptions forced multiple adjournments today. The Lok Sabha however is debating the campus issues.

Here are the latest developments:

  1. In the Lok Sabha or lower house, the ongoing Jawaharlal Nehru University or JNU crisis is dominating the debate. The Congress’ Jyotiraditya Scindia, speaking first, accused the BJP government of condoning atrocities on Dalits.
  2. “Answer me, was Afzal Guru a terrorist? If not why did your government hang him,” asked the BJP’s Anurag Thakur directing his question to the Congress and its vice president Rahul Gandhi, who left the house as Mr Thakur spoke.
  3. A united opposition has attacked the government over students being charged with sedition for an event in support of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru at JNU earlier this month, where anti-India slogans were raised.
  4. “All parties in Parliament should clarify whether raising slogans against the nation was freedom of speech or sedition…the Congress Vice President should tell the people whether he supports the raising of anti-national slogans and if not he should condemn it,” said BJP chief Amit Shah at a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich.
  5. In the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority, there has been all-out war since the house convened this morning and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati raised the Rohith Vemula suicide.
  6. Shouting slogans, her party members trooped into the well of the House, forcing repeated adjournments. They attacked education minister Smriti Irani and another central minister alleging they played a role in persecuting the research scholar, a Dalit.
  7. “Have a discussion right away sir. Who uses a child as a political tool?” shot back a furious Smriti Irani, who is a member of the Rajya Sabha. She took on Ms Mayawati saying she would answer every question raised in a debate in the house.
  8. The government offered to suspend all business and take up the scheduled discussion immediately, but the BSP did not relent and continued to shout slogans against Ms Irani and the Modi government.
  9. On Tuesday, Mr Shah briefed BJP lawmakers on the party’s stance in Parliament. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefed them on the legal aspects of the sedition law.
  10. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the meeting, “The government is working fine and has a lot to show. The opposition is raking up non-issues like JNU and the party needs to debate and contest aggressively.”