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Ruckus in Lok Sabha over Pegasus spyware, farm laws

The Lower House was adjourned till Friday after the opposition members continued their protest as soon as the House reconvened at 4 pm

Thursday July 22, 2021 6:42 PM, IANS

Lok Sabha Today

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Thursday after opposition members staged protests on the floor of the House against the Pegasus snoopgate, three central farms laws, and deaths related to unavailability of oxygen during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Lower House was adjourned till Friday after the opposition members continued their protest as soon as the House reconvened at 4 pm.

Earlier on Thursday morning, the opposition MPs stormed into the well of the House holding placards, right in front of the Speaker. The Speaker then repeatedly appealed to the members to return to their seats, saying the government is willing to discuss anything as per the rules.

MPs from the Congress, Trinamool Congress and Left parties entered the well of the House raising farmers' issues, and snooping on journalists, MPs, activists and other important persons using a foreign spyware.

The Speaker said:

"This is not right... this is a wrong practice. This Parliament is yours. The onus of retaining its glory lies with you. I am ready to get discussions going on issues which are agitating you."

However, the Speaker's appeal didn't have much effect on the opposition members, leading to an adjournment of the House.

When the Lok Sabha reassembled at noon, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said:

"The Rajya Sabha has already discussed Covid. Despite our assurance, the opposition here is disrupting the question hour which is a right of the members. But disrupting the proceedings when the government is ready for discussion is not right. Tell us on what issue you want a discussion. We will discuss."

Thereafter, the Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, introduced the Inland Vessels Bill, following which the Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, introduced the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 that seeks to replace the Essential Defence Services Ordinance, 2021, which was promulgated on June 30.

But the opposition members continued with their protest. Bhartruhari Mahtab, who was on the Speaker's chair, urged the MPs to return to their seats and allow the House to function, but to no avail. The House was adjourned till 2 pm.

As the House assembled at 2 pm, Mahtab asked the MoS Defence Ajay Bhatt to continue with the introduction of the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021. However, the opposition members continued to disrupt the House.

Mahtab again asked the Opposition members to maintain the decorum of the House and return to their seats. But to no avail.

Soon members of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, YSRCP, Shiv Sena, Shiromani Akali Dal, Rashtriya Congress Party and other parties rushed to the well of the House and started sloganeering over the Pegasus spyware row, fuel price hike and farm laws.

One Trinamool Congress member could be heard saying:

"We want a reply on Pegasus."

Standing in the middle of the House, one Shiromani Akali Dal member held a placard that read:

"Strike down black laws."

The House was soon adjourned. When it resumed at 4 pm, the protests continued, leading to adjournment of the House for the day.

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