Opposition refuses to let Lok Sabha function, demonetisation protests continue

The House saw two adjournments due to the noisy protests before Speaker Sumitra Mahajan called it a day.

Published: 30th November 2016 02:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2016 01:08 AM   |  A+A-

Lok_Sabha-PTI_Snipshot

A view of Lok Sabha during the winter session in New Delhi . (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The breakthrough in the impasse in Parliament remained elusive on Wednesday, as the Opposition persisting with demands for obituaries for soldiers killed in the Nagrota terror attack and
people who died on account of the decision on demonetization. The Opposition apparently hardening its stance will meet President on Thursday to raise the issue of the manner in which the Taxation Laws
(Second Amendment)Bill, 2016 was passed in the Lok Sabha without the House being in order.

The government remained unfazed over the Opposition sticking to the disruptive tactics. “The Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill is now before the Rajya Sabha and counting of days has already
begun. After 14 days, the Bill will be deemed to have been passed even if the Rajya Sabha does not take up the legislative proposal to give effect to the tax provisions linked to demonetization. The taxation
proposals will be applicable for the 1016-17 financial year,” said a Union Minister.

Lok Sabha witnessed uproarious scenes from the moment the House was convened with the Opposition MPs trooping into the well with demands for obituaries for soldiers killed in the Nagrota attack and
those who died standing in the queue outside banks and ATMs. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected the Opposition demands for obituary on the ground that the anti-terror operation in Nagrota still had been
underway.

The Rajya Sabha also witnessed similar disruptions even while the leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitely assured the House of the readiness of the government to discuss the
Nagrota terror attack. He also exhorted the Opposition to complete the discussion on demonetization. However, there was no respite from pandemonium in the Upper House, leading to repeated
adjournments of the proceedings.

The Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy had given a notice under Rule 267 for taking up obituaries for the martyrs of Nagrota attack and “82 people who died in queue due to demonetization”. He was supported by the leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.

"It is a serious issue if the House is not ready to pay obituary to brave soldiers and those who died because of the wrong policies of the government,” Azad said.

Amid the ruckus, Jaitely and the JD (U) MP Sharad Yadav exchanged spats on the issue of demonetization. Jaitely shot back to Yadav, that his leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar supported the decision on demonetization. Yadav snapped, saying his party has been protesting the implementation and not the decision.

The Opposition in Lok Sabha said that they are ready for debate on demonetization under any rule that entails voting. There was unanimous view that the opposition is seeking division not over black money
or demonetization but problem faced by people and states due to demonetization. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge exhorted Speaker to hold discussion under any rule that will have
voting and that they are ready for debate.

TMC leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay questioned that why the government with a brute majority of over 300 MPs is running away from voting and they are ready to shift from discussion under rule 56 for the
sake of the country provided the government changes its stands for discussion under rule 193.         

Even BJD joined the opposition and party MP Bhartruhari Mahtab making it clear that they are against black money and demonetization but they want division over problems faced by people due to the
whole process. 

The speaker said that the opposition is demanding discussion under Rule 56 that entails voting while the Government wants it under 193 which doesn’t have provision for division.

“I am ready to suspend the zero hour and start the discussion immediately,” said Mahajan.        

But the opposition continued with its protests and the house was adjourned twice before being adjourned for the day.

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