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Opposition raise slogans as PM Modi speaks in Parliament, govt hits back

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The monsoon session of parliament on Monday took off amid uproar, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not introduce his new ministers to the house due to ruckus created by the opposition. Both houses were subsequently adjourned till 2 pm.

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Before the start of the session PM Modi, in his traditional remarks, urged the opposition to ask tough questions but to allow government to answer them in the House. He also said that he hoped that all issues will be discussed in a healthy manner in the Parliament. “I hope every issue related to the pandemic and our fight against it would be discussed. I would like all floor leaders to attend a session at 4 pm tomorrow to have a presentation on the pandemic situation. It can be discussed on the floor of the House too,” he added

Introducing the newly inducted ministers to the house, PM Modi had to abandon the exercise midway amid slogan shouting against price rise and farmer protests by the opposition. “Perhaps some people are not happy if country’s women, OBCs, farmers’ sons become Ministers. That is why they don’t even allow their introduction,” said the Prime Minister.

Criticising the opposition move, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said such a thing was happening for the first time in his 24 years of parliamentary career. “The strength of Parliament is in maintaining healthy traditions. Both Opposition and Treasury should maintain healthy traditions. Even if one or 50 new ministers are inducted, the whole House listens to their introduction by the Prime Minister with decorum… This is sad, unfortunate and an unhealthy approach,” said Mr Singh.

“We condemn the manner in which Opposition MPs behaved on the first day of the session today. We saw a very unfortunate situation, both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. In Rajya Sabha, the address of the Chairman was interrupted too,” said Piyush Goyal referring to the protests. Subsequently, both the houses were adjourned till afternoon.

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The Parliament session comes a day after a global collaborative investigative project has revealed that over 300 phone numbers of Indian ministers, opposition leaders, journalists and business persons have been found on a database of targets for hacking that used Israeli company NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware – only available to governments. The Indian list of 300 “verified” numbers includes those used by “ministers, opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, businessmen, government officials, scientists, rights activists and others”, it said.

“Our national security is under threat. I will definitely raise this issue (in the house),” Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was quoted saying by media this morning.

The Trinamool has submitted six notices in both the houses to discuss petrol price hike, repeal of farm laws, vaccination solution, decline in economic growth, restoration of MPLAD funds and a weakening federal structure.

At yesterday’s all-party meeting, PM Modi underscored that his government is ready for debate on any topic as per house rules, adding that talks must be constructive and positive.

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