NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day today after bidding farewell to retiring members amid protests by Congress members demanding that a discussion on the banking fraud should be held under a rule that entails voting.
The Rajya Sabha has not been able to transact any serious business for the 17th day in a row due to protests over several issues.
However today, it took up the process of bidding farewell to about 60 members whose tenure would end in the next few weeks.
When the proceedings resumed at 15.40 PM after the farewell speeches, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien allowed a short- duration discussion on scams in public sector banks based on the notices given by JD(U) member Harivansh and Roopa Ganguly and R K Sinha of the BJP.
However, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said his party leaders had also given notices for debate on the bank scam and it was their right to know why these have not been accepted.
"The Chair must inform the House why our notices are not in order. There cannot be arbitrariness. We have the right to be informed," he said, while alleging that the notices given by the opposition parties were not being accepted.
Sharma also charged that members whose notices have been admitted were not present in the House and hence, the discussion cannot take place.
Terming bank frauds as a "serious matter", Sharma said his party was ready to discuss this subject.
He said this is the biggest banking fraud under the watch of this government and involved about Rs 23,000 crore of public money.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Congress party wanted discuusion under the rules their members have given notices.
Congress MPs, including Azad, have given notices for a debate on the matter under rules that entail voting.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the opposition parties should allow the House to take up and pass a Bill that seeks to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Kurien said he was going as per the revised list of business and asked Sharma to approach the Chairman.
However, the Congress members persisted with their demand and trooped into the Well of the House.
They were also joined by AIADMK members who were demanding creation of Cauvery river water management board.
Some members from Andhra Pradesh were also in the Well, raising slogans. As the noisy protest continued, Kurien adjourned the House for the day. The Rajya Sabha will now meet on April 2 after a break of four days.
Earlier, A Navaneethakrishnan from AIADMK raised the issue of Cauvery water sharing dispute.
"A serious problem is now going on. Rule of law has become an empty phrase. The central government refuses to implement the judgement passed by the Supreme Court," he said.
"There is a demand in Tamil Nadu that all AIADMK MPs should resign. They want us to resign." the AIADMK leader said.
Some remarks he made about taking some extreme steps were immediately ordered to be expunged by Kurien, who was in the Chair.