Winter session off to a stormy start
22 November 2012
The winter session of Parliament began on an ominous note on Thursday, with frequent adjournments of both houses following an uproar as opposition members raised different issues leading to chaotic scenes.
There is a strong likelihood that the winter session could also be a washout, just as the monsoon session was, with virtually no legislative business taking place. Opposition members in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were up on their feet, demanding suspension of question hour and taking up their motions.
In the Lok Sabha, speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the house till 12 noon after obituary references were made to departed members and a moment's silence was observed. Several members raised slogans and did not allow question hour to proceed. Even the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till noon, as opposition members demanded a vote on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail.
When the house met again, Trinamool Congress MPs gave notice regarding the no confidence motion against the UPA. Sudeep Bandopadhyay moved the motion and the speaker asked members supporting it to stand up. All 19 Trinamool MPs and four Biju Janatal Dal members stood up.
Meira Kumar then rejected the motion as it did not have the support of a minimum 50 MPs to be admitted in the house.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj of the BJP then sought voting on the issue under rule 184. The Congress is, however, opposed to any discussion on FDI in retail that entails voting. There was bedlam in the issue soon after, as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which provides outside support to the government, demanded suspension of all business, demanding discussion on the issue of reservation in promotion in government jobs to SCs and STs.