Conversion logjam in Rajya Sabha: As it happened on Thursday
Rajya Sabha has now been adjourned for the day.
2:54 pm: Rajya Sabha has now been adjourned for the day.
2:52 pm: Opposition MPs troop into the well of the House, raise slogans. Deputy Chairman Kurien says I am helpless, will be forced to adjourn the House.
2:50 pm: Anand Sharma says we won't allow the House to run until PM comes for the debate.
2:49 pm: Referring to Anand Sharma, Naqvi says you and your party are bringing old formulas to the House.
2:45 pm: Rajya Sabha reconvenes. Deputy Chair asks MP P Rajeev, who had moved the motion for discussion, to start the debate. Rajeev demands that PM should be present to give the reply.
2:30 pm: Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for 15 minutes.
2:29 pm: Union minister Prakash Javadekar says issue-less Opposition is shying away from the discussion.
2:28 pm: Naqvi says Opposition can't dictate to the government as to who will reply to the debate.
2:16 pm: Sitaram Yechury says the Opposition was ready for discussion before lunch; only thing it asked for was for PM's reply to the debate.
2:14 pm: Home Minister Rajnath Singh says since he deals with issues of internal security, he would have given the reply to the debate. There was a possibility that the PM could also have intervened had the discussion taken place before lunch, he adds.
2:13 pm: PM Modi is not present in the House as Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs demand his statement on conversion row.
2:12 pm: Heated exchange of words seen between Anand Sharma and MA Naqvi.
2:06 pm: Opposition is adamant on PM replying to the debate on conversion row. MA Naqvi says the Opposition should start the discussion and it will get the reply from the government. Sitaram Yechury says they want reply only from the PM.
2:00 pm: Proceedings resume in Rajya Sabha. Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien is sitting in the Chair.
1:01 pm: Amid continuing disagreement, Chairman Ansari has adjourned the House for lunch and will again meet at 2:00 pm. Whether a debate will happen or not remains to be seen.
12:52 pm: BSP leader Mayawati is now speaking. She requests PM to speak on this matter of national importance and not make it a prestige issue.
12:51 pm: Row continues over who will reply to the debate – PM or Home Minister. Government insists Home Minister will reply. Chairman says the Opposition cannot dictate conditionalities.
12:48 pm: Are you doubting the capability of PM to reply on the matter, Sharma asks MPs on the Treasury benches.
12:47 pm: Chairman Ansari asks Congress' Anand Sharma to start the debate on conversion issue.
12:36 pm: Naidu says the discussion can start now and as per rules and precedent, the reply will be given by the Home Minister. This leads to uproar by Opposition MPs.
12:33 pm: I reiterate government's offer. If Opposition wants a discussion on the matter under Rule 267, let's suspend Question Hour and start the discussion now - Jaitley
12:32 pm: Arun Jaitley argues that two weeks back, the PM had given a statement on another matter, but the Opposition had not allowed the House to run even after that.
12:25 pm: Congress leader Anand Sharma says there is no intention of the Opposition to lower the PM's dignity in the House, but he must reply on the conversion row.
12:19 pm: Opposition MPs ask Chairman to suspend Question Hour and discuss matters of importance, including the conversion issue.
12:18 pm: Proceedings resume in Rajya Sabha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sitting in the Upper House with Arun Jaitley.
12:04 pm: Lok Sabha, meanwhile, continues to function normally.
12:03 pm: Uproar continues in Rajya Sabha; it has again been adjourned for 15 minutes.
12:00 noon: Rajya Sabha reconvenes, Question Hour begins.
11:46 am: Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 12 noon.
11:45 am: JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav says the House sentiment on PM making a statement on conversion row, be respected. “Why are they (government) making it a prestige issue?” he asks.
11:40 am: Deputy Chairman Kurien pleads MPs to let Zero Hour be completed as they raise their demand for PM to make a statement in the House on conversion row.
11:32 am: CPM leader Sitaram Yechury says the other House is functioning because of tyranny of majority.
11:30 am: Leader of the government Arun Jaitley reacts and says while one House is functioning normally, the other is not. It is not the arrogance of the government but of numbers (of Opposition).
11:28 am: Congress leader Anand Sharma raises the issue of suspension of party MP V Hanumantha Rao, says while they accept the ruling of the Chairman they dispute that he had made objectionable remarks against the PM. He did not say anything against the PM but his remarks were against heckling, says Sharma.
11:18 am: Meanwhile, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu clarifies his earlier remarks in Lok Sabha, says there is no proposal to rename the national capital, Delhi. Among the options doing the rounds were Indraprastha and Hastinapur.
11:10 am: Congress leader Digvijay Singh speaks on conversion row outside Parliament, says we want answers from the PM but he is shying away from a debate on the matter.
11:05 am: The House is so far calm today. And Deputy Chairman is happy.
11:03 am: House Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien is asking members to lay papers on the table.
11:00 am: Rajya Sabha convenes. Chairman Hamid Ansari is reading out obituary for former Rajya Sabha MP Sultan Singh.
10:55 am: Government sources has again ruled out PM Modi making a statement in the Rajya Sabha on the conversion row.
10:50 am: The Congress has given a notice to the Rajya Sabha Chairman seeking suspension of Question Hour in the House.
10:45 am: Congress MP KC Venugopal has moved a Breach of Privilege notice against Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Nadu over the Christmas holiday controversy.
10:40 am: Ahead of the Rajya Sabha session, leaders of the Samajwadi Party, JD(U), Trinamool Congress and the Left are meeting to discuss floor strategy.
10:30 am: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says the behaviour of Opposition is an insult to the nation. He alleges that the Opposition is only trying to stall the proceedings in Rajya Sabha.
09:15 am: PM Modi to attend Rajya Sabha today
In a bid to end the deadlock in Rajya Sabha, the government has conceded to the Opposition's demand on Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the Upper House session.
The Opposition has been demanding that PM Modi should come to Rajya Sabha and make a statement on the religious conversion row.
The BJP, however, is adamant that the PM will not make any statement in the Upper House but will merely attend the session during the Zero Hour.
The House has not been able to function for the last three days amid uproar over Opposition's demand for the PM's statement.
The government is believed to have given in to the Opposition's demand in a bid to pass several key bills which have been pending. The government needs the support of the Opposition to pass bills in Rajya Sabha as it is in minority there.
Among the bills that government seeks to pass this session include the GST Bill, the Insurance Bill and the one to replace the Coal Ordinance.
The Winter Session of Parliament ends in four days.
Ever since the start of the Winter Session, the Opposition has been protesting in both the Houses over various issues, including the repatriation of black money, controversial remarks by BJP MPs and last but not the least, the religious conversion issue.
On the issue of religious conversion, the Opposition has been pressing for the PM's reply to the debate on the matter.
While agreeing to attend the Rajya Sabha, PM Modi appeared to be combative telling his Cabinet colleagues that government need not be on the defensive as it had done nothing wrong.
"We have not done anything wrong and why should we worry," a source quoted the Prime Minister as saying during a meeting with some ministers yesterday. Sources said the Prime Minister suggested that the ministers should communicate with the people directly instead.