Demonetisation protest forces early adjournment in Parliament

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Opposition members protest in the Rajya Sabha during the winter session of Parliament in New Delhi, Nov 21, 2016.

New Delhi: Opposition members protest in the Rajya Sabha during the winter session of Parliament.

Protest continued in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as an unrelenting Opposition demanded Prime Minister Modi’s intervention in the debate over the issue of demonetisation, the demand that has been thus far been rejected by the government. Both the houses were adjourned on Tuesday with very little business transacted.

While the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day soon after 12:00 noon, the Rajya Sabha saw repeated adjournments before it too was adjourned for the day at 2:00 PM

The debate on demonetisation, which began in Rajya Sabha on the first day of the current Parliament session last week, has failed to resume due to protest in the Upper house.

Besides an intervention from the Prime Minister, the Opposition in Rajya Sabha is also seeking the house to move resolution mourning the death of more than 70 people who have died post the demonetisation move. Reportedly, many of them died while standing in queues or collapsed in the banks.

Banks and the ATM machines across the country have been witnessing a very heavy rush with people thronging to withdraw/deposit money and exchange their old currency notes.

Earlier during the noisy proceedings, leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said “we will debate but we want hon’ble Prime Minister to be present in the house and listen to us. We are raising very important issues relating to the common man, poor and the farmers of this country”.

Other senior opposition leaders Ms Mayawati and Sitaram yechury too demanded the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On the other hand, government flayed Opposition MPs for creating ruckus in the house. Assuring the government will address all the issue relating to demonetisation, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi appealed the opposition parties to resume the debate.

Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien too urged both the sides to resume the debate. But as opposition parties resorted to protest, taking to the Well of the house, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned.

New Delhi: Opposition members protest in the Lok Sabha during the winter session of Parliament in New Delhi, Nov 21, 2016. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Opposition members protest in the Lok Sabha during the winter session of Parliament in New Delhi. Photo – PTI

Noisy protest continued in the Lok Sabha over the issue of demonetisation with members of opposition demanding discussion under the Rule 56, which entails voting. But the government once again asked Opposition to debate under Rule 193 which does not entail voting and a formal motion.

The opposition members from Congress, TMC, Left and other parties continued with their protest marching to the Well of the house and resorted to slogans and holding placards. On Tuesday, they also demanded PM Modi’s presence and that their adjournment notice be admitted.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge and TMC’s Sudip Bandhopadhyay said they wanted a debate but demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence and that the Speaker admit their adjournment motion, which will result in division of votes and passage of a resolution, on demonetisation.

The opposition was particularly elated with AIADMK too raising the issues resulting out of shortage of currenc notes post the demonetisation.

AIADMK leader P Venugopal spoke about “suffering of people” due to shortage of currency notes and said his party had also given an adjournment notice.

Meanwhile, the treasury urged the opposition to join the debate with Union Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar saying, “Government is willing to start a debate. I don’t think that the opposition parties are in support of black money, fake currency and terrorism when the whole country is supporting the Modi government over its decision”.

Though Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tried to carry with the proceedings amid noise, she had to adjourn the house as opposition refused to call off their protest.