On its first proceeding of this session, the Lok Sabha witnessed a strong protest by the Opposition parties demanding the government to debate on demonetisation under a rule which entails voting. The pandemonium only grew as the government refused to accept opposition’s demands.
With opposition MPs standing firm and refusing to end their protest, the house was adjourned for the day.
Early on Thursday, Congress party along with the TMC, Left and other parties gave 21 adjournment notices on demonetisation in Lok Sabha.
Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandhyopadhyay moved an adjournment motion as soon as the proceedings began in Lower House. This was the first sitting in Lok Sabha this session, after it was adjourned on Wednesday – Winter session’s first day – post the obituary reference.
After the TMC, leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said his party too wanted to move a similar motion to discuss the “hardship being faced by the people and the economic disruption and the failure of the government to redress the plight of the people.”
The principal opposition party also wanted to take up the issue of “information” on demonetisation before it came into force.
While the Speaker assured that the House will debate on the subject soon, Opposition demanded that it be held before any other business. With the opposition members resorting to slogans against demonetisation and taking to the Well, the lower house witnessed protest throughout the Question Hour.
MP from Congress, TMC, Left, SP and RJD took to the Well of the House. Members of some other parties, including AIADMK – who were raising Cauvery dispute issue, were also seen in the aisle.
Speaking amid Opposition protest, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar attempted to assure that the government was willing to debate the issue under Rule 193, which does not entail voting, as it did not want two voices to emerge from Parliament.
But the Opposition was firm on their stated position.
“We all want a discussion under the Rule 56 so that we can know what is the stand of all the parties when they vote. Then everyone will participate,” Kharge said.
At this point, Ananth Kumar insisted that people at large are with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision on demonetisation. “They want black money, fake currency… to be finished. We want cooperation from you. We are ready to discuss. We do not want two voices to emerge from Parliament,” he said.
But the Opposition once again raised the pitch with TMC’s Bandhopadhyay stressing that opposition parties were together. “We are in a mood to censure the government,” he said.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, on the other hand, said the government was ready to discuss at length the “historic” decision by suspending the Question Hour but under Rule 193 where there is no formal motion or voting.
Rejecting the suggestion, members of Congress, TMC, RJD and Left parties rushed to the Well shouting slogans.