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RS proceedings disrupted over vacancies in many commissions

RS proceedings disrupted over vacancies in many commissions

New Delhi: Delay in filling up of vacancies in statutory commissions for SCs, STs, Backward Classes and Minorities rocked proceedings of Rajya Sabha for the second day today, with the proceedings being adjourned thrice before lunch.

Congress, SP, BSP and JD-U members repeatedly trooped into the Well of the House shouting slogans against the government for "misleading" by telling "lies" on the issue.

I&B Minister M Venkaiah Naidu tried to counter them, saying all the commissions were functioning and the process of filling up the vacancies was on.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien tried to restore order in the House saying the minister has promised that vacancies will be filled up "immediately", but Naidu countered him saying the vacancies will be filled up in "due course" of time.

Kurien first adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes and then till noon and opposition members were unrelenting. When the House assembled for Question Hour at noon, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the proceedings for 30 minutes as the noisy scenes continued.

When the House assembled for the day, opposition members were up on their feet stating that multiple notices have been given under rule 267 seeking suspension of business to take up the issue.

Ramgopal Yadav (SP) said the posts of chairmen, vice chairmen and members were lying vacant in National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Backward Classes and National Commission for Minorities.

This has left people seeking relief for their difficulties from these commissions high-and-dry, he said, adding that the commission for backward classes was being renamed to take a fresh look at castes which should be categorised as OBCs.

He alleged that there was a conspiracy to remove certain castes from OBC category. He went on to question the vacancies against the reserved categories in government departments.

Mayawati (BSP) asked why the BJP government had left several posts at these constitutional commissions vacant for a long time and when these posts will be filled up.

Naidu rose to respond but the opposition wanted leaders from other parties to speak first before the minister had his say.

But Kurien said the minister has a right to respond and allowed Naidu to speak.

Anguished over this, opposition members trooped into the Well of the House shouting anti-government slogans.

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