Rajya Sabha adjourned after protest on demonetisation escalates

SansadTV Bureau

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Opposition in Rajya Sabha mounted attack on Modi government over the issue of demonetisation with leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad blaming the move resulting in acute public inconvenience. The government, meanwhile, once again defended its decision as the one to weed out corruption and black money in Indian economy.

The house saw repeated adjournments through the day after finally adjourning in the afternoon till Friday morning.

As the house assembled again after four adjournments at 3:00 PM, heated exchange broke out between the treasury and opposition benches with BJP taking objection to Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s statement where he blamed the government’s implementation of demonetisation for reported deaths of at least 40 people who stood in the queue or waited at the banks.

“Who should be punished for the death of these 40 people due to wrong policy on demonetisation,” Azad asked, adding that “millions of people are troubled. BJP and Government is responsible.”

The remarks, which also contained reference to the recent terror attack in Uri, drew sharp protest from the government, with Union minister Venkaiah Naidu demanding Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien to expunge the statement.

New Delhi : People standing in long queues to exchange their old Rs 500 and 1000 notes and withdraw cash from the ATM in New Delhi om Thursday, Nov 17, 2016. Photo - PTI

New Delhi : People standing in long queues to exchange their old Rs 500 and 1000 notes and withdraw cash from the ATM in New Delhi om Thursday, Nov 17, 2016.
Photo – PTI

The remarks containing reference to Uri attack were later expunged from the records.

“Entire (Congress) party should apologise as it was a very atrocious statement,” Naidu said attacking the principal opposition party.

Earlier, the house witnessed pandemonium as soon as it resumed on Thursday. Trinamool Congress Party (TMC), which held a march to President’t door on Wednesday, demanded the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the debate.

The debate over the issue of demonetisation that began yesterday after government acceded to the collective Opposition’s demands, was slated to resume today.

While the Congress is demanding JPC probe on what they alleged a selected “leak” even before the move was announced, TMC is firm on its demand of rolling back the demonetisation of higher denomination currency notes.

Members of AIADMK also resorted to protest in the Well of the house raising the Cauvery river water dispute issue.

As the house continued to witness protest with members from Congress party and AIADMK taking to the Well of the house, Deputy Chairman Kurien tried adjourned the House for the day.

(With inputs from the PTI)