Lok Sabha witnesses chaotic scenes as treasury benches, opposition clash
The clash almost led to a confrontation between Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Commerce minister Piyush Goyal
Acrimonious scenes were witnessed in the Lok Sabha, which almost boiled over to a confrontation between Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday.
During heated exchanges, the Commerce Minister even taunted the opposition members for wearing black clothes, which they wore as a mark of protest against the Manipur violence.
The drama began during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's suo moto statement on India's foreign policy, which got drowned amid vociferous sloganeering and protests by the Congress-led opposition, who stood in the well of the House wearing black clothes, seeking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presence and response on Manipur.
During the course of Jaishankar's elaborate statement, when he referred to Prime Minister Modi's US visit, BJP members started chanting "Modi! Modi!"
The opposition members in retaliation started shouting "India! India!"
After Jaishankar's statement, Kirit Solanki, who was in the Chair, asked the protesting opposition members to return to their seats so that he can allow them to speak.
When Chowdhury started speaking, while referring to a 1978 no-confidence motion, Goyal objected immediately and instructed the BJP members not to allow him to speak, in retaliation to the opposition creating a ruckus when Jaishankar was speaking.
As BJP members started shouting, all the opposition members returned to the well of the House and began shouting back.
Solanki, amidst all the bedlam, said that Speaker Om Birla has given the permission for the no-confidence motion and has assured that after speaking to all the floor leaders, he will grant time and date for discussion on it. He asked the opposition members not to throw papers in the well.
Chowdhury said that he only wanted to be given time to speak. However Solanki asked the Commerce Minister to pilot the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill 2023.
Goyal said that before he speaks on the bill, he wants to say a few words on the opposition's conduct. Taunting them for wearing black clothes, he alleged said that what was there in their minds, was visible in the colour of their clothes. He repeatedly referred to the word "black", however most of his comments were later expunged by the Speaker's office. Once the bill was passed after a short discussion, the House was adjourned for the day.
When Goyal was replying to the discussion on the bill, opposition members started shouting slogans, saying "Piyush Goyal go back, go back!" Incidentally Goyal was replying from a back bench instead of his seat in the front rows, apparently to avoid not being heard in the chaos.
Later, Chowdhury told IANS that he "was only trying to say in the House that as per rules, when the no-confidence motion has been accepted, no substantive motion of policy matter should be brought before the House by the government".
He added that the protests by the opposition members will continue .