NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha proceedings were on Monday adjourned till 2 pm after the entire opposition vociferously protested over the issue of communal violence in the national capital, with members alleging that the government slept while Delhi burnt.
Opposition MPs including those belonging to the Congress, Left, TMC, SP, BSP and DMK were up on their feet shouting slogans and accused the government of failing in its duty.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the issue was definitely important but the priority should be to restore normalcy and then discuss ways and means of preventing it.
When his appeals to members to resume their places went unheeded, he adjourned proceedings till 2 pm.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad charged that the Central government "slept" when violence rocked Delhi for three days.
While members shouted slogans such as 'Delhi is Burning', three TMC members sported black bands on their eyes.
Naidu ordered them to remove them as sporting badges is not allowed inside the house.
The members complied, but the vociferous protests continued, forcing the adjournment.
Earlier, when the House met it mourned the death of former member A V Swamy, followed by Naidu reading out a record of department-related standing committees that considered demands for grants for 24 departments.
He said the proceedings of the House during the first half of the current Budget session were "largely purposeful" with 96 per cent sitting.
The House in the second half, that began Monday after a three-week break, would be more meaningful, he hoped.
Naidu said he has received notices from members of opposition parties seeking adjournment of proceedings to discuss the present situation in Delhi and other parts of the country.
"The matter is definitely important and deserves to be discussed," he said, adding he will admit a discussion and allot time after discussing with the minister concerned as well as the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition.
"Our priority should be restoring normalcy. We should see that normalcy is restored and then we can discuss ways and means of preventing it (such violence)," he said, adding he wanted the House to send out a message in one voice on the issue.
Let peace be restored, he said.
However, members continued their protests, forcing the adjournment.
The violence in Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar, Bhajan Pura, Yamuna Vihar and Mustafabad areas of northeast Delhi has left at least 42 dead and over 200 injured.
Opposition protests outside Parliament
Congress, Trinamool and AAP MPs staged separate dharnas on Monday near the Gandhi statue in Parliament, demanding answers from the government on the Delhi riots on the first day of the second half of the Budget Session.
Covering their eyes with black bands and holding a finger on their lips in an apparent imitation of the Gandhi's Three Monkeys, MPs like Mohua Mitra, Sukhendu Shekhar Rai were part of the protest.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, Shashi Tharoor and others held placards demanding answers on the Delhi riots and the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah.
Another protest, this time by four AAP MPs -- Sanjay Singh, Bhagwant Mann, N D Gupta and Sushil Gupta -- was held in front of Gandhi statue of Parliament against violence in Delhi.
They raised slogans of "BJP murdabad".
At least 42 people died and more than 200 were injured during the communal riots in northeast Delhi.
Opposition MPs have also given notice in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to discuss the Delhi riots.
Those who gave notice include Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, NK Premachandran (RSP), PK Kunjalikutty (Muslim League), Elamaram Kareem (CPIM), Binoy Vishwam (CPI).