NEW DELHI: The logjam in the Lok Sabha continued for the 13th day in a row with the Opposition unrelenting on its demand for discussing demonetisation under a rule which entails voting. Even though Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government was keen to listen to the Opposition’s suggestions on the implementation of the note recall, the Opposition insisted on voting. But a section of leaders dropped hints that the House may begin discussion from Wednesday.
After the House was adjourned for the day, a senior Opposition leader told reporters that there had been a unanimous decision to participate in the discussion under Rule 193 — which doesn’t entail adjournment and voting — from Wednesday. Even while a discussion was initiated by TRS member Jeetendra Reddy under Rule 193, Trinamool Congress MPs surrounded him and indulged in sloganeering. They used Reddy’s microphone to shout slogans and disrupted the proceedings, which led to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourning the House for the day. “There was a meeting of the Opposition parties this morning and it was decided that before the Parliament session ends, we must register our voices as till now they have not said a word on demonetisation in the Lok Sabha,” said the Trinamool MP.
The leader said that the meeting was attended by Trinamool, Left parties, JD(U), BSP, SP, NCP, DMK, AAP and JMM members. The Parliament session ends on December 16.
Earlier in the day, the Speaker sought the views of the leaders of the political parties, during which the Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge reiterated the demand to initiate the discussion under Rule 184. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav lamented that the government did not take leaders of all political parties in confidence before announcing the decision on demonetisation.
Some Congress MPs also joined the Trinamool MPs who disrupted Reddy’s speech and they came into the well of the house. Trinamool members were later seen shaking hands with Reddy, who also walked to the treasury benches and spoke to Rajnath.
And in the Rajya Sabha, Opposition memebers entered the well, demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the hardships caused by the currency ban.
While the BJP’s Bhupinder Singh raised issues relating to the 2G and coal scams, Rajiv Shukla of the Congress referred to the non-payment of salaries and said if the situation was not so, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was in the House, should refute the charge. Another Congress MP, Satish Sharma, wondered whether the government had become bankrupt as it was not paying its employees.
Chairman P J Kurien said the disability bill couldn’t be passed amid the din and he adjourned the House. While senior Opposition leaders were shouting from their seats, their microphones were put off and only the Chairman’s mic was on.