New Delhi: Proceedings of the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday (July 16) were adjourned thrice during the pre-lunch period after repeated protests by Tamil Nadu parties led by the AIADMK over their demand that the exam for postmen be held in Tamil language.

The protests started soon after listing of papers in the House, with AIADMK members shouting slogans and demanding that the government cancel the postal department exam for recruitment of postmen and other posts and hold it afresh by including Tamil as a language for taking the exam.

Tamil Nadu parties have been protesting that questions in the postal department's examination for appointments of postmen and assistants in rural areas held on Sunday were only in Hindi and English, and not Tamil.

The AIADMK were joined in their protests by DMK, CPI and CPI-M members in the morning.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu first ordered stopping of the transmission of House proceedings on television and then adjourned proceedings till 1200 hours.

Later when the House met at noon, the AIADMK continued with their protests demanding cancellation of the exam.

As deputy chairman Harivansh appealed for allowing the Question Hour to be taken up, members of AIADMK stormed the well. They were joined by the DMK and Trinamool Congress. They raised slogans of "Cancel the exam", with deputy chairman saying this is not good.

Minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Muraleedharan said the chairman has already held a meeting with the communications minister and he has agreed to clarify in the House on Wednesday.

"The chairman had called Union communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to his chamber. He has discussed the issue with the chairman and the minister is ready to come to the House and explain the position in the House tomorrow," he told the House amid the din.

Deputy chairman said the chairman has called the minister and he will explain tomorrow in the house.

"Please allow the House to function and the Question Hour to take place. The Communications Minister will come tomorrow. He is busy in Lok Sabha. The Chairman has already held a meeting. The minister has already given an assurance on this issue," deputy chairman Harivansh said.

As his requests to allow the House to function went unheeded, the deputy chairman adjourned the House for 15 minutes, six minutes after noon.

When the House met again, AIADMK members again stormed the well and raised slogans. This time they were joined by the DMK, Congress and CPI and CPI-M and the deputy chairman adjourned the House till 2 PM.

Earlier in the morning, Chairman Naidu said the issue was raised by the AIADMK on Monday and he cannot order the government to respond to their demands.

"This is not allowed as per rules," he said. "I will not direct, it is very unfair."

On July 15, AIADMK leader A Navaneethakrishnan had raised the issue through a Zero Hour mention, saying questions in the postal department''s examination for appointments of postmen and assistants in rural areas held on Sunday were only in Hindi and English, and not Tamil.

"I urge the Central government to cancel the postal department examinations held yesterday. The reasons are very simple and also very compulsive," he had said.

Members of the AIADMK, which is ruling in Tamil Nadu, on Monday said the government had not responded to their request.