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Parliament adjourns for the day over snooping law, Rafale jet deal

twitter-logoPTI | December 21, 2018 | Updated 19:23 IST

New Delhi, Dec 21 (PTI) The proceedings in Parliament were disrupted for 8th consecutive day Friday over a variety of issues, including the latest snooping row, the Rafale jet deal and Cauvery dam. Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day around 12.15 pm as AIADMK, TDP and Congress members protested over various issues. The two Houses would now meet on December 27 as there would be no sitting on December 24 and December 26 in view of Christmas. As soon as the Zero Hour began in the lower house, members from AIADMK, TDP and Congress trooped into the Well, displaying placards and shouting slogans. Members from the AIADMK protested against proposed construction of a dam across Cauvery river and they also shouted slogans in Tamil. While TDP members sought to raise issues related to Andhra Pradesh, those from the Congress demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal. As the ruckus continued, the House was adjourned for the day. Earlier, the proceedings were adjourned till noon following protests. When the House met for the day, there were no protests by Congress members who had been persistently attacking the government on the Rafale jet deal and demanding a JPC probe into the issue. Friday was the 8th day of the Winter session which has seen repeated disruptions. As soon as the House took up question hour, AIADMK members rushed to the Well holding placards and raising slogans opposing construction of a dam over Cauvery. They were joined by members from the Telugu Desam Party who were demanding various sops for Andhra Pradesh. Some of the Aam Admi Party members also joined AIADMK and TDP. They were holding placards denouncing sealing, apparently in Delhi. 'Atrocities in the name of sealing' was one of the placards they were holding. As minister Sripad Naik was answering a question on the Ayush Ministry, some members in the Well hurled torn pieces of paper on the table where the Lok Sabha secretariat officials sit during proceedings. The table is located in the Well near the Speaker's podium. At this, Speaker Mahajan had adjourned proceedings till noon. Similar scenes were witnessed in Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha was initially adjourned till 2.30 pm as two Tamil parties - the AIADMK and DMK - continued their protest over the Cauvery issue, while the Opposition Congress and treasury benches sparred over the Rafale jet deal. As soon as the House met, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu appealed to all members to cooperate in the smooth functioning of the House as discussion on several urgent matters as well as passage of important Bills were pending. His plea went unheeded as AIADMK and DMK members trooped into the well of the House with placards soon after listed papers and reports were tabled. Members of AAP were also seen in the well carrying placards, demanding an end to the sealing drive in the national capital. Meanwhile, Naidu asked senior Congress leader Anand Sharma to put forward his views. Sharma said his party was ready for a discussion on all important issues and demanded an immediate debate on imposition of President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Sharma also said that his party was ready to discuss the issue of purchase of Rafale jets from French company Dassault but the government should agree for a probe into the deal by a JPC. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the government is ready to discuss all issues including Rafale but the "opposition is running away". Goel also informed that he had met Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and leaders of other parties in an effort to end the stalemate in the House. As protesting members continued displaying placards, Naidu said he has received suggestions against members who are entering into the well of the House. "I will not be happy to take action," he said. The Chairman later adjourned the House till 2.30 pm. Later, when the House reconvened, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue of President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir and government's move to allow 10 agencies to intercept information on computers. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the authorisation was given under 2009 rules and dismissed opposition's charge of snooping, saying they were playing with national security and "making a mountain where even a molehill doesn't exist". Azad alleged that "undeclared Emergency has taken final shape" and "all federal agencies have been let loose". Jaitley hit back saying Congress was crying foul over powers created by it when it was in government. Amid slogan shouting by opposition members, unhappy with government's response, the House was adjourned for the day. PTI RAM MJH RSN NAB NAB RCJ

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