New Delhi: Parliament on Tuesday saw yet another day of washout with an aggressive opposition raking up a fresh demand for Rs10 lakh compensation to the kin of each of those who died due to problems post demonetisation besides pressing for presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the debate on the issue. Neither the Rajya Sabha nor the Lok Sabha could transact any business due to continuous uproar and pandemonium, leading to their premature adjournment.

Both houses of Parliament were stalled by opposition parties on the fourth consecutive day on the issue of demonetisation.

In the Lok Sabha, the opposition demanded a discussion on demonetisation on a rule which entails voting, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the House for about 50 minutes soon after it assembled. As soon as the House met, members of Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC), Left parties and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rushed to the well of the house demanding discussions on demonetisation under Rule 56.

The Samajwadi Party, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) stood in the aisles in solidarity with other opposition members. While All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) members were also on the aisles raising the issue of Tamil fishermen injured allegedly in firing by Sri Lankan Navy, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was seen in an intimate discussion with AAP MP from Punjab Harinder Singh Khalsa.

Ignoring the slogan shouting opposition members, the Speaker allowed the Question Hour to continue amid noise. When some opposition members tried to bring a placard, denouncing the demonetisation move in front of minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju, who was replying a question related to his ministry, the Speaker tried to intervene and asked the MPs not to disturb the minister.

As pandemonium continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon after 20 minutes of proceedings.

In the Rajya Sabha, opposition parties joined hands to stall pre-noon proceedings, demanding Rs10 lakh compensation to the kin of each of the 70 persons who lost their lives post demonetisation and the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the debate on the issue.

The rare unity among opposition parties brought the Congress and the TMC as well as the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) together as their slogan-shouting members trooped into the Well of the House, even as treasury benches countered them demanding resumption of the debate on the issue.

Deputy chairman P J Kurien first adjourned the House till 11.30am and then till noon. No sooner were the listed papers laid on the table, Sharad Yadav of Janata Dal (United) said the government should pay a compensation of Rs10 lakh to kin of the 70 persons who lost their lives due to hardships caused by withdrawal of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes. Naresh Agarwal (SP) and Mayawati (BSP) said Modi should be called before starting the discussion on demonetisation. Leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress) said the opposition is ready for discussion on the issue but the Prime Minister should come to the House first.

As he spoke, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) moved into the aisles raising slogans. At this point, TMC members carrying placards of “Financial Emergency" trooped into the Well, with Congress members following suit. As they shouted slogans from the Well, Kurien said, “You cannot speak in the Well. Shouting in the Well is of no use. If you go back to your seats, I will give you time (to speak)." He told Azad that he was ready to accept his notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business.

As BJP members also created a ruckus, an angry Kurien snapped at them. “Why should treasury benches do this? Mr Minister, why should treasury benches to this," he asked minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. With pandemonium continuing, he said this was “blatant indiscipline".

“Both sides do not want discussion. Not only the opposition, but treasury benches are also disrupting the proceedings. That is very unfortunate," he said, before adjourning the proceedings. PTI

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