New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS) Parliament on Wednesday saw yet another day of washout with an aggressive opposition raking up fresh demand for obituary reference for the army personnel killed in the Nagrota attack and for the over 80 deaths in demonetisation-related issues as well as pressing for a debate on scrapping of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes under a rule that entails voting.
Neither the Rajya Sabha nor the Lok Sabha could transact any business due to continuous uproar and pandemonium, leading to both houses being adjourned early.
This was the 10th consecutive day of Parliament to be wasted.
In Rajya Sabha, the opposition members created an uproar demanding obituary reference for the army personnel killed in the Nagrota attack and for those who died in demonetisation-related issues.
The House was adjourned for the day after witnessing two earlier adjournments over the issue.
Leader of Opposition in the House Ghulam Nabi Azad was the first to raise the issue.
“Our seven soldiers, including two senior officers, have died at Nagrota. The House must first pay homage to them, and after that to the 82 people who have died due to government’s wrong policy (of demonetisation),” Azad said.
He was joined by Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy who also pressed for an obituary reference for the killed soldiers as well as for the “people who have died in the queues”.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati, Janata Dal-United’s (JD-U) Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Ram Gopal Yadav also raised the same demand.
Ram Gopal Yadav also reiterated the demand for compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the people who have died in bank queues post demonetisation.
As soon as the House was reconvened at 12 noon after the first adjournment, opposition members stood up and started chanting “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” and ignored the Chair’s call for question hour.
Interestingly, the treasury bench MPs also raised the same slogan.
Amused at this, Chairman Hamid Ansari observed, “There is total agreement in the House.”
However, when the sloganeering did not stop, Ansari adjourned the House till 2 pm.
The Chair adjourned the House first till 12 noon, and later till 2 pm. Later, when the ruckus refused to subside, the House was adjourned for the day.
In Lok Sabha, the opposition parties continued their tirade against the government over the demonetisation issue as protests and sloganeering forced Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the house for the day.
The opposition led by the Congress and Trinamool Congress (TMC) continued their demand to discuss the demonetisation issue under a rule which entails voting. Earlier, both the parties were insistent that the discussion be held only under Rule 56, that calls for adjournment motion with voting.
Soon after the House met in the morning, the opposition parties, including Congress and Trinamool Congress, demanded that tributes should be paid by the house to the army men killed in Tuesday’s Nagrota attack.
The Speaker said that the combing operation is still continuing and the government is gathering the details about the incident.
Expressing dissatisfaction, the Congress, TMC, the Left and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), then staged a brief walkout over the issue.
After a few minutes the opposition members returned to the house and trooped near the Speaker’s podium to press their demand for discussion over the demonetisation issue.
Despite the din, Mahajan attempted to conduct the Question Hour, but following repeated disruptions, she adjourned the house till 12 noon.
When the house re-assembled, Leader of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said his party wants discussion on the demonetisation issue as the people are facing hardships.
Kharge also urged the Speaker to start the debate under any rule which entails voting.
TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay also said his party wants discussion under any rule which entails voting.
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Bhartruhari Mahatab suggested an immediate discussion on the hardships faced by people because of demonetisation.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitely said the government agreed over Mahtab’s suggestions and was ready for a discussion.
However, the government did not agree to discuss the issue under rules that have the provisions for voting, saying any division of vote over the issue will send a wrong message.
“The government is ready to discuss the issue since November 16. The government wants a discussion on the issue without voting and send a message that the house is united to address the issue of black money,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.
The Speaker also urged the agitating members that they should begin the discussion keeping aside rules.
But opposition members of Congress, TMC, Left and others did not relent and again trooped near the Speaker’s podium and started sloganeering against the government.
Mahajan then adjourned the house for 10 minutes till 12.45 p.m.
Later, she held a meeting with some opposition leaders in her chamber, but it failed to yield any outcome.
When the house again met after the two adjournments, the scene was no different. Mahajan then adjourned the house for the day.
Parliament has experienced a virtual washout since the session began on November 16 as the government and the opposition have locked horns over the demonetisation issue, and the consequent hardships being faced by people due to cash crunch.