New Delhi: Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day on Thursday amid continuous protests by Opposition members led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi demanding sacking of Union Minister Ajay Mishra from the government in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
Gandhi, who had a question on MSME sector listed on Thursday, dubbed Mishra a “criminal” and demanded his ouster when Speaker Om Birla called his name during the Question Hour.
It was trouble from the word go, as Opposition members trooped into the Well raising slogans and waving placards demanding removal of Mishra, whose son has been arrested in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in October.
Trinamool Congress members, who had earlier stayed away from the Opposition grouping, were also in the Well of the House raising slogans along with members of the Congress and Left parties.
“This minister should be removed from the government. He is a ‘criminal’, action should be taken against him,” Gandhi said, adding that Mishra was “involved” in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
“The minister’s involvement in Lakhimpur Kheri killings has come to light. It has been said that there was a conspiracy. We should be allowed to speak about it,” the Lok Sabha member from Wayanad said as Opposition members waved placards and raised slogans in the Well of the House.
The Speaker asked Gandhi to stick to the question related to the MSME sector that was listed against his name.
“You are a senior member. You ask the question number 262. You will be given adequate time to ask the question you have listed for Question Hour. You claim that you are not allowed to speak in the House. I will give you adequate time if you stick to the question listed by you,” the Speaker said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said Gandhi was trying to speak at a time when Congress members were in the Well of the House.
“How can this be allowed? Ask him to call the members back to their seats,” Joshi said.
BJP members too were up on their feet as Gandhi continued to speak on the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
“Your minister here has attacked farmers. He should resign. His involvement is there. There has been a conspiracy. He should be punished for that. He should be removed from the government,” Gandhi said.
Congress member Gaurav Gogoi said the minister had misbehaved with journalists on Wednesday.
He was referring to the minister losing his cool at reporters in Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday, calling them “thieves” and lunging at one of them when they questioned him on the October 3 violence for which his son is among the accused.
With the Opposition members unrelenting, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
As the Lok Sabha reassembled at 2 pm, Opposition members were in the Well again demanding action against Mishra.
BJD leader Bhratruhari Mahtab, who was in the Chair, allowed laying of Parliamentary papers on the table of the House and introduction of the Biological Diversity Bill before adjourning the proceedings for the day.
Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in October.
The SIT has arrested 13 people, including the Union Minister’s son Ashish Mishra, in the first FIR in connection with the death of the four farmers and the journalist. In the second FIR relating to the death of two BJP workers and a driver during the violence, the SIT had arrested four people. —PTI