The Lok Sabha was adjourned on Friday noon until Monday after the Opposition insisted on a discussion on the alleged leak of the NEET question paper as the Speaker said a discussion on the Presidential address had to be taken first.

In the Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi raised the NEET issue and demanded, along with other Opposition MPs, that the matter be discussed. Speaker Om Birla insisted that a discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address be taken up first.

Rahul Gandhi said, “…We wanted to give a joint message to the students of India, on behalf of the Opposition and Government, that we consider this an important issue. So, we thought that to respect students we will have a discussion on NEET today, a dedicated discussion…”

The House was first adjourned until noon and adjourned yet again for the day soon after it met. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the Presidential address will be taken up first for discussion. As the Opposition continued to protest, Speaker Om Birla asked whether they did not want to discuss the Presidential address, and did not want to raise the NEET-UG paper leak issue in the discussion. He then adjourned the House until Monday morning.

Festive offer

Earlier, just before noon, Rahul Gandhi held a meeting with other INDIA bloc members such as Misa Bharti of the RJD, Awadhesh Prasad of the SP, M Kanimozhi of the DMK, and Mohua Moitra of TMC.

Before the commencement of the Lok Sabha proceedings, Rahul Gandhi said outside Parliament, “Yesterday, all leaders of the Opposition parties had a meeting and it was unanimous that today, we want a discussion on the NEET issue…There should be a discussion on NEET here in the house. I request the Prime Minister, as this is an issue of the youth and it should be discussed properly. And it should be a respectful discussion. We will do it respectfully. You should also join the discussion; you should also participate because this is a matter of the youth. A message should go out from Parliament that the Indian government and the opposition are talking about the students together.”

In the Rajya Sabha, Chairperson and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar told the House that he had received 22 notices under Rule 267 seeking a discussion on the NEET issue, with the chairperson saying that he is “constrained not to accept these notices under Rule 267” .

Rule 267 says: “Rajya Sabha MPs can submit a written notice to suspend all listed business in the House and discuss an issue of importance that the country is facing.”

“Honorable members, I have received 22 notices on the subject to discuss on the situation arising out of irregularities, cheating and paper leakage in the NEET exam 2024 conducted by NTA. Honorable members, Honorable President in her address delivered yesterday to the members of both the Houses assembled had indicated in paragraph 20 that there would be a fair investigation ensuring strict punishment to the culprits and that the government is working towards major reforms in examination-related bodies. , their functioning and all aspects of the examination process,” said Dhankar.

“The discussion on the motion of thanks on the Honorable President’s address will be initiated in the House today. All honorable members will have ample, adequate opportunity to put forth their views on the matter. Under these circumstances, I am constrained not to accept these notices under rule 267,” said Dhankar.

To this, Opposition members raised objections and started shouting slogans, and the House was adjourned. To the slogans by the Opposition members, VP Dhankar said, “It is time we really exemplify decorum. I am here to afford the opportunity to every member.”

Congress member Pramod Tiwari was then allowed to raise a point of order by the Chair. Tiwari said: “Please kindly read Rule 267 of the notebook… There are notices by LOP (Mallikarjun Kharge), me, and others… We also have some experience in the House.”

Dhankar said the rule says that a discussion can only be allowed after the permission of the Chairperson. He then said Rule 267 “allows every member of the House to move that any rule may be suspended, but why is it with the consent of the Chairman… because the Chairman has to apply his mind”.

“If the Chairman finds that the matter can be discussed immediately without waiting by debate on the President’s address, then why raise this? Some members met me in my chamber. I tried to persuade them. I gave them an illustration. I told them that if you are taking a flight to Kolkata and the flight is waiting, seats are booked, you still want to argue if you could take this flight. The opportunities are available at your door. The next item will be this only. The address of the Honorable President will be debated here. You will get all the opportunities,” said Dhankar.

Leader of Opposition in the Upper House and Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge then stood up and said, “The thing is that why is 267 mentioned that there are some specific cases that with your consent, we can raise an issue. That is why 267 is there.”

Opposition members then shouted slogans after which the proceedings were adjourned.

When the Rajya Sabha met again at noon, former prime minister and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda said that without taking sides, he would like to say that the “government has taken the right decision by starting a CBI inquiry” in the NEET. issue. “Lakhs have been affected (by the NEET issue)… The CBI has arrested people from different states… The government can’t take a decision till the inquiry is concluded,” he said, appealing to members to let proceedings run in the Upper House. .

Opposition members shouted slogans of “Tanashahi Nahi Chalegi (Won’t allow dictatorship)” and “Isteefa Do (Give your resignation)” as BJP member Sudhanshu Trivedi spoke on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address amid their demands for a discussion on the paper leaks.