Lok Sabha sanctioned the Essential Defence Services Bill 2021 on Tuesday amid challenges by opposition members over various issues that drove the proceedings being postponed for a third time till 4 pm. As the House resumed at 2 pm, Speaker Om Birla urged the protesting members to go back to their seats and said that he would give them a chance to speak.
Thus, the opposition pursued their dissents over the Pegasus spying controversy and the disputable farm laws. Amid the din, the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 was sanctioned.
The proceedings were then postponed till 4 PM. In the morning when the House assembled at 11 am, the opposition members came to the well and started sloganeering over the so-called spying through the Pegasus software and demanding repealing of the three farm laws endorsed last year.
When inquiries relating to agriculture and farmers’ welfare came for discussion during the Question Hour, Birla asked the challenging members to lift farmers-related queries in the House. “I wanted you to inquire with the minister with regard to farmers welfare, but you are engaging in sloganeering which is not justifiable… You don’t want to discuss farm issues…,” Birla said.
Therefore, members from anti-parties pursued their sloganeering. Speaker Birla, after allowing the Question Hour to remain for about 40 minutes amidst the protests, discontinued the House for 20 minutes till 12 noon.
When the House re-assembled at noon, the opposition continued. Senior MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, who was in the chair, first permitted the papers related to various ministries to be laid in the House.
He also declared that the adjournment motion moved by a few members was declined by the Speaker. As the protests continued, Mahtab pleaded to the opposition members to go to their seats so that the House could act normally.
As the opposition neglected his plea, Mahtab discontinued the House till 2 pm after 10 minutes of business. The House proceedings have been harmed since the beginning of the Monsoon session on July 19 as opposition members protest claiming discussion on the Pegasus spying issue and farm laws.