The Congress and some other opposition parties on Monday protested in the Lok Sabha seeking release of detained Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and others, as well as on the "instability" in Kashmir. The protest began soon after the House assembled for the day one of the winter session which will culminate on December 13. Congress members raised slogans demanding a response from the Prime Minister. The members later came near the Speaker's podium raising slogans like "stop dividing the country". Congress was joined by leaders of National Conference, Nationalist Congress Party, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Dravida Munetra Kazhgam. The protesting MPs started sloganeering as Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla invited Telugu Desam Party MP Kesineni Srinivas to pose the first question during the Question Hour.
The opposition MPs raised slogans demanding release of Abdullah, apart from the various detained leaders in the newly-formed Union Territory. They continued chanting of slogans protesting over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, even as Birla conducted the House and Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal responded to Srinivas. Trinamool Congress had given adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over detention of Abdullah. Amid pandemonium, Birla continued proceedings.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi appealed to opposition MPs to let the Question Hour function smoothly, assuring them that the government is ready to discuss all issues in Zero Hour. "Question Hour is the right of every member. I appeal to you (opposition) to let the Question Hour function. Government is ready to reply over any issue in Zero Hour," Joshi said. As the protest continued, Birla assured the opposition that he was ready to give them a chance to speak as per rule but asked the MPs not to disrupt the proceedings of the house suggesting them to take their seats. Bharatiya Janata Party's former ally Shiv Sena was also among the protesting MPs, but they were protesting over farmers' issue.
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