Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence in the Parliament couldn’t pacify Opposition protest on the issue of demonetisation. The Opposition demanded an obituary reference for the seven soldiers killed in Tuesday’s terror attack at Nagrota army camp in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as mourning the deaths of those people who have passed away post the demonetisation.
Both the houses saw loud uproar soon after it began for the proceedings on Wednesday, leading to series of adjournments before they were adjourned for day.
The Opposition in Rajya Sabha, which is protesting against the government’s move to ban higher denomination currency since the beginning of Winter session, told that more than 90 people have died while standing in long queues and due to stress post the demonetisation move.
Raising the issue, leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “along with jawans who were martyred at the border, those poor people who died in long queues due to government’s implementation of demonetisation should be paid homage in the Parliament.”
Seconding Azad’s argument, BSP chief Mayawati, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav also sought homage for the dead and criticised the government once again over the way it has implemented the decision.
The opposition parties also took on the government over the incident of terror attack on the army camp in Nagrota, where two officers and five jawans were killed on Tuesday. It has now sought statement of Union Defence minister Manohar Parrikar.
Earlier, responding to the Opposition’s contention, leader of the house Arun Jaitley said that the government is ready for debate on both the demonetisation as well as the terror attack in Nagrota.
The house saw repeated protest by the Opposition MPs, who, while taking to the Well of the house resorted to raising slogans of “Jai Kawan, jai Kisaan”. Some members from the ruling side benches were also seen raising slogans.
Meanwhile, in the lower house, where Prime Minister Modi too was present, the Opposition once again sought adjournment to take up the issues raised by them – demonetisation, paying homage to the soldiers killed in Nagrota attack, and passage of Income Tax amendment bill without even hearing them out.
The Opposition staged a walkout as their demand for an obituary reference on Nagrota incident was rejected by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on the grounds that final details were yet to emerge.
“I know seven soldiers have been killed… let the complete report come,” she said.
The stalemate between the two sides has also been persisting on the issue of holding discussion on demonetisation. 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.
As the house reassembled at 12:00 noon after an adjournment, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, along with TMC’s Sudip Bandopadhyay and CPI (M)’s Mohd Salim took up the issue of obituary reference and discussion on demonetisation followed by a voting.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar attacked the Opposition over the matter, saying they should not do politics over martyrdom of soldiers, drawing protests from the Opposition benches.
With the protest in the house disrupting the proceedings, the house was adjourned for the day.
(With inputs from the PTI)