NEW DELHI: The area around the desk of the Lok Sabha Secretary-General, in front of the Speaker’s chair, has been fenced to keep lawmakers from crowding it, after particularly unruly protests by the Opposition on Tuesday provoked an upset Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to say, “This is the limit.”
Inside Parliament, Fencing To Keep Troublemakers At Bay :
This is probably the first time that a portion of the House has been fenced. As she struggled to control the chaos in the House, an exasperated Ms. Mahajan had observed on Tuesday, “40 MPs want to snatch the rights of 440 MPs who want to participate in business,” – a reference to the Congress which has only 44 lawmakers.
In the small space that is the Well or centre of the House right in front of the Speaker’s chair, almost the entire Congress contingent gathered to protest, holding up placards and raising slogans. Some also tore paper and flung the bits around, forcing Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai to hastily leave the chair.
As an argument between the government and the Opposition on how to debate IPL controversies got out of hand, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also requested the Parliament channel Lok Sabha TV to stop blocking visuals of the protests and “let the nation watch” what its MPs were doing.
Outside Parliament, a visibly upset Ms. Mahajan said, “This is the limit. They were raising their hands while talking as though blaming the Speaker. People have to see how their elected representatives behave. I think people have to think about what to do.”
The Congress alleged that BJP lawmakers had attempted to “intimidate, assault and elbow” MPs from his party in the House.
The Monsoon Session has already seen an unprecedented suspension for five days of 25 Congress MPs for unruly behaviour by the Speaker. The Congress has refused to let the two Houses transact regular business, demanding the resignation of three top BJP leaders caught in controversies. The Monsoon Session ends on Thursday.