NIT Srinagar crisis, rustication of JNU students rock proceedings in Parliament
Pandemonium prevailed in Parliament as the main opposition party Congress continued to disrupt proceedings over the Srinagar NIT crisis, rustication of JNU students and the Uttarakhand political issue since both Houses convened for normal business on Tuesday.
New Delhi: Pandemonium prevailed in Parliament as the main opposition party Congress continued to disrupt proceedings over the Srinagar NIT crisis, rustication of JNU students and the Uttarakhand political issue since both Houses convened for normal business on Tuesday.
Key legislation such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill await clearance from the lawmakers in the Upper House, where Congress-led Opposition has a majority.
The Conress-led Opposition in the Rajya Sabha condemned the rustication of three students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in the aftermath of a controversial event held at its campus.
Raising the issue, CPI-M member Tapan Kumar Sen described the punitive action of the JNU the "most arrogant, anti-democratic act being patronised by the government".
"Rusticating them, debarring them for five years and thereby taking vengeance against their educational career in a very unjust manner - this is a part of this government's project," Sen said.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury sought a proper debate on the issue.
CPI leader D. Raja also raised the issue. "This house cannot be a mute spectator when such things are happening in JNU. This is very vindictive, revengeful action," Raja said.
Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said that the universities are autonomous.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad supported the Left leaders in decrying the punitive action taken by the university.
"Universities' atmosphere is being vitiated. It is the HRD ministry which is responsible," Congress leader Anand Sharma said.
The JNU on Monday fined students union president Kanhaiya Kumar and rusticated three other students for taking part in an event to commemorate parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
While Kanhaiya Kumar was fined Rs.10,000, Anirban Bhattacharya was rusticated till July 15 and barred from the university from July 25 for five years. He can submit his Phd in the July 15-25 period.
Bhattacharya and Umar Khalid will lose a semester of their academic session while Mujeeb Gattoo, another student, has been suspended for two semesters, an order from the university proctor said.
Khalid also must cough up Rs.20,000 in fine by May 13.
The Rajya Sabha was witnessed noisy protests over the issue of President's rule in Uttarakhand, with opposition parties supporting the Congress in its demand for a debate on the issue.
The Congress, supported by the Left, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), demanded an immediate discussion on the issue.
Congress leader Anand Sharma cited the rules and said a debate can be taken up even if the matter is sub judice.
He was supported by SP leader Naresh Agrawal and BSP leader Mayawati.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi wanted to know if the Congress wanted a discussion on the issue or just to disrupt the house.
Leader of House Arun Jaitley, however, said there can be no debate before the proclamation of the relevant court order comes out. While the Supreme Court is to further take up the matter on April 27, the high court-ordered floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly is scheduled for April 29.
Congress members then trooped near the chairman's podium shouting slogans following which the house was adjourned till noon.
The scene was the same when the house met again at noon for Question Hour and an angry Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house.