No-confidence motion not taken up, Sushma stopped from speaking

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) A no-confidence motion could not be taken up in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was stopped from making a statement in the House on the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan accused the opposition of being insensitive to fellow citizens and called the unending disruptions in Parliament a “sorry state of affairs”.

The Lower House, which has been witnessing a logjam since the second half of the Budget Session that began on March 5, saw its first adjournment for the day within minutes of meeting at 11 a.m.

Protests continued when the House reassembled at 12 and papers were being laid on the table of the House. In the din, members from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the AIADMK raised slogans and waved placards near the Speaker’s podium.

As External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stood up to make her statement, members from the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, AIMIM and the Communist Party of India-Marxist protested vocally.

The minister said a press conference would be held by Iraqi officials but she wanted the nation to know about it through their own Minister.

“I cannot speak in the din. If there is order for some time I can present the statement in the Lok Sabha,” she said after making a statement on the issue in the Rajya Sabha earlier.

Speaker Mahajan warned the opposition against politicising such issues.

Mahajan then went ahead to move the no-confidence motion, submitted by Thota Narasimham of the Telugu Desam party (TDP) and Y.V. Subba Reddy of YSR Congress.

She said that it could only be taken up if there was order in the House and asked the members go return to their seats.

“You are not sensitive to the people of India… What kind of politics is this? Even for no confidence motion you need to go back to your seats,” Mahajan said.

As the protests continued, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

This is the 12th day of logjam in the Lower House. No other major business, including Question Hour and Zero Hour, has been taken up amid the protests.

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