Opposition parties protest against price rise

Opposition parties protest against price rise

New Delhi: Opposition parties protesting against rising prices disrupted Parliament for the third day running, forcing both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to be adjourned without transacting any business.

A delegation of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) marched to President Pratibha Patil’s office to submit a memorandum with millions of public signatures against the “abject failure" of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government to control inflation.

“Our MPs (members of Parliament) and state unit leaders have submitted nearly 10 crore (100 million) signatures to the President," senior BJP leader L.K. Advanisaid. “I can say that we have taken all steps we should take in our role as the main Opposition on this issue."

The BJP—along with some parties that are lending outside support to the government, including the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal—created pandemonium inside both Houses. They insisted on a “discussion with voting" on inflation.

But Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumarcontinued to reject notices for an adjournment motion, saying the issue did not reflect the government’s failure to meet a constitutional duty.

The Congress criticized the Opposition, saying the disruptions showed “disrespect" for the speaker.

There was a minor crack in the Opposition ranks, though. Left parties and the Biju Janata Dal refused to hold protests inside the House. A Left leader stated: “We do not want to hold up the proceedings." They staged a sit-in in front of the Parliament building instead. The Lok Sabha did not have any major legislative business listed for the day, while the Rajya Sabha had three Bills, including the Pesticides Management Bill, 2008.