New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) Lok Sabha was adjourned for an hour on Sunday soon after it met for the day as Congress members demanded that the House proceedings should not take place till Rajya Sabha galleries are cleared of the agitating members of the Upper House.
Due to social-distancing norms necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, members of Lok Sabha have been allocated some seats in Rajya Sabha.
Congress and other opposition members of Rajya Sabha were sitting on a dharna inside the chamber, even after the House was adjourned for the day, to protest farm sector bills passed by the Upper House earlier.
Rajya Sabha sitting ends at 1 pm, following which members from Lok Sabha occupy seats there at 3 PM.
Proceedings in Rajya Sabha were extended today for the passage of the farm bills.
As Lok Sabha met at 3 PM, Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked Speaker Om Birla to adjourn the House till the stalemate in Rajya Sabha ends.
To this, Birla said that Lok Sabha gallery is still empty and the members who have been alloted seats in Rajya Sabha can take the vacant seats in the Lower House. He also said that even if one member of Lok Sabha is unable to attend, he will adjourn the House.
Birla further said that since COVID issue is listed for discussion in the House, if it is adjourned then it will not give a good signal.
Chowdhury said since the members sit in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha galleries to ensure social distancing due to COVID-19, the House should not function as members are not being allowed inside the Upper House.
Birla said that it has been a norm that discussion of the happenings in the other House will not be taken up in Lok Sabha. However, Chowdhury argued that with members occupying both the the Houses for sitting purposes it has now become 'two-in-one'.
'Two Houses has now become one, hence this rule does not apply,' the Congress leader contended.
TMC's Kalyan Banerjee suggested that Birla make a request to all the members stuck outside Rajya Sabha to come and sit in the vacant seats in Lok Sabha.
Chowdhury then said that Lok Sabha should be adjourned for two hours. However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that as per the Speaker's suggestion the House should function as members want to discuss the COVID issue.
Following persistent Congress demand, Birla at around 3:15 PM said that he will adjourn Lok Sabha proceedings till 4 PM. PTI JD NAB RT