Demonetisation: Another day washed out in Lok Sabha

RSTV Bureau
File photo of protest in Lok Sabha Photo - PTI

File photo of protest in Lok Sabha
Photo – PTI

The stalemate between the government and Opposition over the issue of debate on demonetisation led to Lok Sabha been once again adjourned for the day with nearly no business transacted on Thursday. The house witnessed another day of sharp exchange between the two sides and opposition protest that led to the adjournment.

The two sides are yet to agree under which Rule should the discussion on demonetisation be held. While, the opposition is demanding discussion under rule 56 and 184, where the provisions allow for voting after formal discussion, the government is pressing for discussion under Rule 193, which doesn’t entails voting.

The Opposition has moved adjournment motions to this effect ever since the beginning of the Winter session, but that has been rejected in the house.

The government on its part has assured that they are willing to discuss every issue flagged by the Opposition concerning the note ban. This week Union Home minister Rajnath Singh had also assured that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will intervene in the debate, if Opposition wanted.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha.  Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha.
Photo – PTI

But with the Opposition on their feet, protesting even in the presence of PM Modi on two occasions, the debate is yet to begin.

On Thursday, leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge once again emphasised that debate be held under the provisions which entails voting. Leader of other opposition parties – TMC, SP and Left parties also demanded for discussion followed by voting to get a sense of house over government’s move to ban higher denomination currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.

Responding, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar criticised the principal Opposition party and accused them of skirting the debate when “three-fourth of the house wants to hold a debate on demonetisation”.

With the protest in the house disrupting the proceedings, the house was adjourned for the day.

The lower house had faced washout on Wednesday as well, with Opposition pressing for paying homage to the soldiers killed in Nagrota attack, and even those who died post the demonetisation. They also cornered the government on the passage of Income Tax amendment bill, without discussion.