NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha proceedings were disrupted today following protests over the issue of caste violence in Maharashtra, with the House witnessing three adjournments with opposition parties like Congress and BSP seeking a discussion on it.
As soon as the Upper House convened at 2 PM after two adjournments earlier, BSP MP Satish Chandra Mishra stood up and demanded a discussion on the issue, saying "peaceful people" were targeted in Maharashtra and accusing the state government of hatching a conspiracy.
However, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien told him that the matter had already been disposed off by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu earlier in the day.
Hearing this, several members, including Congress leader Anand Sharma, stood up and claimed that the entire Maharashtra was burning due to the caste violence.
However, as Kurien remained unrelenting, several opposition members began protesting and raising slogans, calling the government "anti-dalit" and forcing Kurien to adjourn the House till 3 PM.
Earlier in the day, the Rajya Sabha witnessed two adjournments during the pre-lunch period till 2 pm as several members including the Congress and BSP sought to raise the issue of caste violence in Maharashtra.
As soon as the Upper House began the proceedings with laying of papers during Zero Hour, Chairman Naidu asked Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad to speak.
In the meantime, Mishra raised the Maharashtra violence issue, alleging that the RSS and BJP were responsible for the violence against dalits. He and some other members said they had given a notice for holding a discussion on the matter.
Several other opposition members as well as those from the treasury benches too were on feet.
As many members tried to speak on the issue simultaneously, Naidu abruptly adjourned the House till noon.
When the House reassembled thereafter, Congress and BSP members were again on their feet again to raise the Maharashtra violence issue.
Naidu said this was not the way as permission was granted to the Leader of Opposition and some other members were to speak. "But you all did not listen. I don't want to witness this scene," he said and adjourned the House for the second time till 2 PM.
Maharashtra remained on edge after the anniversary celebrations of a battle fought 200 years ago brought to fore simmering caste tensions, even as a statewide bandh called today to protest the state government's alleged failure to stop violence, witnessed stray protests by Dalits.