Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm amid uproar by treasury benches over Maharashtra issue

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New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm on Monday amid uproar over corruption allegations in Maharashtra during the Question Hour.

As soon as the Question Hour began, treasury bench members started raising the issue of alleged extortion in Maharashtra and involvement of police in it, to which the Deputy Chairman said nothing will go on record and asked members to allow the proceedings.

As the treasury bench members continued rasing the issue, Deputy Chairman Harivansh stood up and requested members to ask their supplementary questions to ministers.

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi answered supplementaries regarding minority institutions and said 27 lakh children in West Bengal from Sikh, Buddhist, etc. communities were devoid of scholarships as the state government was not ready to take benefit of the Centre's scholarship scheme.

The Chair then asked Chhaya Verma of the Congress to proceed to the next question.

He urged members several times to allow the Question Hour and requested them to take their seats.

Amid the din, Verma asked Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar about provisions provided by the Centre on the destruction of crops in various states by wildlife and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also expressed concern over the issue.

However, Javadekar said he was unable to hear anything and tried to raise the Maharashtra issue.

'What she is asking, I could not hear,' he said and referred to Maharashtra issue, prompting the Chair to adjourn the House till 2 pm at 12.11 pm.

The trouble in the Upper House had started a few minutes before the Question Hour at 12 noon.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu repeatedly asked the agitating members to sit down.

'What is happening? Both sides must understand, nothing will be shown (on TV) and go on records,' Naidu said.

Naidu stressed he has not allowed anybody to make mention of any state and level allegations.

'I have not received any notice. Without notice how can I allow anybody,' he said.

The House then proceeded for Question Hour amid uproar.

The protests were in connection with former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh's claim that Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh wanted police officers to collect Rs 100 crore monthly from bars and hotels in Mumbai.

Singh, who was transferred to the low-key Home Guards department on March 17 following the arrest of police officer Sachin Waze in the case related to the bomb scare near Mukesh Ambani's house Antilia, in a letter to the Maharashtra chief minister had claimed that he was made a scapegoat.

In the eight-page letter, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh used to call police officers to his official residence and give them a 'collection target' from bars, restaurants and other establishments.

The Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office, in a release on Saturday, said Singh's 'unsigned letter' was not sent from his official email ID and efforts were on to contact him to verify it. PTI NAM NKD SMN