New Delhi: Trinamool Congress (TMC) members in Rajya Sabha on Monday (July 8) sought to disrupt proceedings of the House by entering the well and raising slogans to protest disinvestment of public sector companies.

Some TMC members, including Derek O'Brien and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, were also on their feet and repeatedly asked the Chair to permit them to raise the issue of disinvestment of state-run firms during the Zero Hour.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow them to raise the issue, saying members should not resort to such measures to raise issues and that he would not succumb to pressures.

Naidu, however told TMC members he would allow them to raise the matter only if there is time left. TMC members continued to raise slogans but the Chair said nothing of that sort would go on record.

Some members of the ruling BJP too were seen responding to the sloganeering of TMC members.

Just before the House adjourned for lunch, Naidu cautioned members not to enter the well and use such measures to press for their demands.

The last session of the Rajya Sabha, held before the general elections, had witnessed several adjournments due to protests by opposition parties.

However, the current Budget session has not witnessed any major protest by opposition parties.

Members raise important issues of public interest during the Zero Hour after the Chair permits them to do so.

Earlier, the issue of rejection of two Bills by the President, which were sent to his office in 2017 by the Tamil Nadu government, to exclude the state from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) was raised.

Arch rivals in Tamil Nadu — AIADMK and DMK — lodged their protest against the rejection of the Bills.

A Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK) and Tiruchi Siva (DMK) lodged protests on behalf of their parties. DMK members also staged a walkout.

In his Zero Hour mention, Rewati Raman Singh (SP) highlighted the situation in the country due to deficient rainfall.

He said 18 states have been hit by deficient rains and it would badly affect paddy sowing.