New Delhi: The opposition in the Rajya Sabha on Friday united against the BJP-led government for its stand on the minority institution-character of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
Almost all opposition members were up on their feet and shouted slogans against the Narendra Modi government as the issue was raised during Zero Hour in the upper house.
They shouted ‘Stop discrimination against minority institutions’, ‘No injustice will be tolerated against the AMU’ as Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien urged them to give notice to the chair for a discussion.
“Like this, you won’t get anywhere… please give a notice if you want discussion on the issue,” he said.
Senior members like Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and Anand Sharma of the Congress also expressed concern over the issue.
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Amid the din, the house was adjourned for 10 minutes at 11.50 a.m. No meaningful business could be carried out during Zero Hour.
When the house met again at noon, some members urged the chair to adjourn the Rajya Sabha in honour of former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma who died following a heart attack on Friday morning.
Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari politely rejected the demand, saying “the house has an established practice” that it would only be adjourned in case a sitting member passes away.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said if the chair deems fit, it could adjourn the house and the government would have no objection.
The house, however, went ahead with Question Hour. However, around 1 p.m., the chairman adjourned the house for the day as leader of the house Arun Jaitley too urged for it.
On January 22, eight opposition members of parliament of different parties had issued a joint statement slamming the Centre for its stand on the status of the Delhi-based Jamia Millia Islamia and the Aligarh Muslim University.
“We condemn the statement of the Attorney General of India, who has blatantly tried to outrage the rich tradition of the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb by mentioning before the Supreme Court that these two institutions were not minority institutions,” their joint statement said.