Parliament work washed out for 5th day over demonetisation

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

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

For the fifth consecutive working day, proceedings in Parliament were washed out today as opposition parties continuously created ruckus, persisting with the demand for presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and debate on demonetisation under a rule that entails voting.

Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha failed to transact any business and were adjourned prematurely due to the uproar.

In the Lok Sabha, parties like Congress, Trinamool and CPI(M) pressed for Adjournment Motion and debate under a rule that entails voting.

This was rejected by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who maintained that discussion can take place some other rule as well.

Modi was present in the House briefly during Question Hour, during which only one question could be taken up amid the opposition’s din which led to the first adjournment.

Shiv Sena, which had participated in Trinamool Congress-led march against demonetisation last week, saved embarrassment to the government as it changed its stand and praised the step besides supporting BJP stand that the debate be held under Rule 193, which does not entail voting.

Sena changed its stand after its delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.

BJD’s B Mahtab also favoured debate under Rule 193.

However, since there was no unanimity on the mode of having a debate, members of Congress and Trinamool again trooped into the Well, shouting slogans and forcing adjournment first till noon and later for the day.

Earlier, Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said his party was ready for a discussion but under Rule 56, which entails voting.

“A message has gone out that the opposition is not ready for discussion. People are distressed, people are at pain and we want to discuss their problems. What we want is that the Prime Minister should be present here. You (Speaker) should allow us the adjournment motion,” he said.

Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, Kharge said it is being told outside Parliament that a few people are supporting black money. “But the fact is that ruling party is supporting black money and not allowing the discussion to take place in the House.”

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government is willing to discuss the issue any time and it may not be a short duration debate but could “go on for 1-2-3 days.”

“If the opposition offers any constructive suggestion, we will heed to it, implement it. We have launched a campaign against black money, fake currency and corruption and people of India are supporting Modi,” Kumar said.