NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 11: 30 a.m. as a united opposition confronted the government yet again on the fourth day of the Winter Session of Parliament over the demonetisation move.
The Parliament witnessed uproar from the opposition benches as soon as the proceedings began.
The opposition members trooped into the well of the House seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply to the decision to scrap Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier vented his ire at the opposition members for not cooperating with the government for a debate on the matter.
“The opposition not ready for debate. They are trying new tactics every day to disrupt the Parliament proceedings,” he said in the Rajya Sabha.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, however, hit back and stated that they were ready for a debate on the matter only after paying tributes to those who have died standing in queues courtesy this decision.
“Please move an obituary and then we can discuss,” Yechury told Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien amid uproar in the Upper House.
The opposition parties want Prime Minister Modi to explain his abrupt outlawing of the old notes in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority.
No sooner did Deputy Chairman Kurien occupy the Chair and called Dilip Tirkey (BJD) to start his Zero Hour mention, Congress members trooped into the Well.
Kurien suggested that members could continue the discussion on demonetisation of currency, but Congress members kept shouting slogans and other opposition members were seen standing on the aisles.
Amid din, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi too pitched for continuation of the debate. "Many members want to speak (on the demonetisation)," he said.
Yechury (CPI-M) again asked the Chair for an obituary reference for those who died while standing in queues outside banks due to the demonetisation move.
Kurien said there is a procedure for such references and suggested that the members to approach Rajya Sabha Chairman.
"What is the authenticity of numbers (of dead) you are speaking," he said, adding that obituary references cannot be taken up suo motu.
As Naqvi pressed for continuation of the debate on currency notes, the vociferous protests continued while BJP members kept shouting "We want discussion. We want discussion".
Kurien then adjourned the House till noon. As soon as House met at noon for the Question Hour, Opposition members again rose from their seats and started
shouted slogans over demonetisation of currency.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari asked the members to let the Question Hour continue, but the Opposition did not relent.
Members including those from the Congress, TMC and BSP were seen standing along their seats with many of them shouting slogans.
Following the din in the House, Ansari adjourned the proceedings for the third time today for 30 minutes.
When Rajya Sabha reassembled at 1234 hours, Opposition members rose from their seats raising slogans over the demonetisation issue.
Ansari tried to pacify the members so that the Question Hour could be taken up but his efforts were futile.
Members including those from the Congress, TMC and BSP were seen standing along their seats and several were seen shouting anti-government slogans.
Amidst the din, Naqvi shouted "the sense of the country is against black money. Sense of the country is in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi".
As the uproar continued, the House was adjourned till 1400 hours.