NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day following protests by opposition parties over the Pegasus snooping row.
The Upper House of Parliament was adjourned four times on Friday amid uproar by opposition members for a discussion on the issue.
When the House reassembled at 2.30 pm following a third adjournment, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge demanded a discussion on the Pegasus spyware controversy.
“I have given a notice under rule 267 regarding the recent allegations in the media of government carrying out spying and online surveillance of several senior politicians, judges of Supreme Court and high courts, journalist of….,” Kharge said.
However, Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was in the Chair, said a statement has already been made by the government and a discussion has been started on this issue.
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“On this, a statement has already been made. Now if you have to say something on that, then it would be on the discussion and not like it,” he said.
Deputy Leader of the House, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said that the Union information technology (IT) minister has already replied to this.
“The IT minister has already replied to it and the entire country has seen the behaviour by some members of the opposition with him,” said Naqvi.
Opposition members, however, could not be pacified and continued with their protest, following which Kalita adjourned the house till Monday.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2.30 pm, as the Chair asked Trinamool Congress (TMC) member Santanu Sen to withdraw from the House who remained present despite his suspension for the remaining period of the Monsoon Session.
In the morning, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan had moved a motion for Sen’s suspension after he snatched papers from IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw that contained his statement on the Pegasus snooping row and tore those in the House on Thursday.
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The motion was passed by a voice vote.
When the House reassembled at 12.30 pm following adjournment, Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh, asked Sen to withdraw from the Rajya Sabha.
But the TMC member remained present in the House.
In the meantime, several opposition MPs, including Kharge, sought to raise certain issues.
However, the deputy chairman adjourned the proceedings till 2.30 pm.
According to a convention, no business is transacted in the Rajya Sabha if a suspended member continues to be present in the House.
Congress and other opposition members also demanded a discussion on the Pegasus spyware issue and created an uproar.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House till 12 noon.
At 12 noon, the proceedings were adjourned till 12.30 pm.