New Delhi: Parliament was stalled for the second consecutive day on Friday due to ruckus by Congress-led opposition parties which were demanding in Lok Sabha a debate on monetisation under a rule that entails voting and presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajya Sabha for resumption of discussion on the issue. No business could be transacted in either the Upper House or the Lower House due to the pandemonium.
In the Lok Sabha, Congress and some other opposition parties pressed for a discussion on demonetisation under a rule which entails voting, that too through an Adjournment Motion which means suspension of all business. Several notices were given by various opposition leaders for discussion under the Adjournment Motion but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected these, saying a debate could take place otherwise.
Ruckus started soon after the House met for the day, with Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge demanding that the issue of scrapping of Rs1,000 and Rs500 denomination notes be discussed through an adjournment motion and not the rule being proposed by the government.
Also read: Demonetisation: New rules on deposits, cash withdrawal as of November 18
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said the government was willing to discuss the issue and there was no need to press for an adjournment motion. As the din continued, the House was adjourned for nearly one hour till noon, minutes after it assembled.
When the House assembled again for Zero Hour, the opposition again pressed for moving an adjournment motion. But the Speaker rejected all the notices. Both Kharge and TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay insisted that the debate be taken up through an adjournment motion.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister once again urged the opposition to take up the debate under Rule 193 which does not entail voting and a formal motion.
Kumar said the opposition should not “run away" from a debate and maintained that it was up to the Chair to decide under which rule the discussion will take place.
As part of their Zero Hour references, Meenakshi Lekhi and Gajendra Singh Chauhan (both BJP) raised the issue of remarks made by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad yesterday linking deaths due to demonetisation crisis to the killings in the Uri terror attack.
Also read: Consequences of the demonetisation shock
The remarks were expunged last night itself. The two BJP members slammed Azad for the statement and demanded that a resolution be passed against him and he should be asked to apologise in writing.
As differences persisted and opposition continued to raise slogans like “Pradhan Mantri sadan mein aao" and “Vijay Mallya kahan gaya", the House was adjourned for the day.
In the Rajya Sabha where debate took place on demonetisation for six-hours on Wednesday, the discussion could not be resumed even today as Congress and some other opposition parties insisted on presence of the Prime Minister.
The House also saw a clash between Congress and BJP members as the ruling side raked up Azad’s controversial comments and demanded apology from Congress.