Our voice is being muzzled in parliament: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said his intention behind long adjournments was to promote a sense of collective responsibility among members to minimise forced disruptions.

A similar adjournment was done on Monday as well.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha TV said it could not air live proceedings of the Upper House for some time due to a power failure in the optical cable fibre hub and that the reasons behind it were being looked into.

The Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the CPI (M), the CPI, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Aam Aadmi Party signed the letter.

He said that if the Opposition were to repeatedly violate the rules of the house every day and make efforts to adjourn the house, it was obvious they didn't want "organized and systematic discussion" and requested that Opposition leaders not run away from the debates. We are not even being allowed to raise issues in Zero Hour. Kurien then adjourned the House till 3 pm.

"No doubt that the issue he wants to raise is an important issue".

He asserted that Parliament works according to "rules, regulations, procedures and conventions" and not "according to one's whims". Some developments take place late evening and we are not allowed to speak. "If the chair keeps rejecting all the notices, what will we be doing in the House then?" "They (the chairpersons) get up and adjourn the house".

Asked if he is attacking the Vice President of India, Azad said that he is not attacking one person in particular but "any person presiding over the House, who fails to conduct the House according to rules and procedures".

"When members and parties realise that they would ultimately be the losers of such disruptions and adjournments, they would talk to each other and enable better functioning of the house". With the opposition keeping away, Naidu defended his decision and said he was deeply concerned about negative perception in the public due to repeated adjournments and that of the 42 zero hour submissions admitted in the last three working days, only one could be made.

He said, it was in this context that he thought it to adjourn for a longer period instead of resorting to brief adjournments.

Vanessa Coleman