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Parliament's winter session: Another washout on the way?

The penultimate day saw the government and opposition trading charges at each other, while the AgustaWestland case being raised in the assembly.

Published: 15th December 2016 03:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2016 03:55 PM   |  A+A-

Parliament

File photo of Parliament. | PTI

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Signs of an imminent washout of Parliament's Winter session over demonetisation issue were visible on a penultimate day today with government and the opposition trading charges and BJP adding fuel to the fire by bringing the Gandhi family under attack in the AgustaWestland case.

Despite TMC's Sudip Bandhopadhyay and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge making it clear that the opposition wanted a debate even without voting or under any rule, there were counter-attacks from the BJP side, leading to continued heated exchanges in the House.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar launched a scathing attack on the Opposition, accusing it of scuttling debate from the day the session began on November 16.

Charging the Opposition with attempting to fail the note ban move, he said Congress was trying to "manage currency" (note jugaad) post-demonetisation when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a vigorous campaign against black money.

Kumar referred to the VVIP chopper scam issue, saying the "master middleman" Christian Michel has named "the first family of the UPA" and, therefore, Congress is running away from the debate.

He said there should also be a discussion on the VVIP chopper scam.

This led to furious Congress members again storming the Well raising slogans denouncing the Modi government.

TRS member AP Jeethendar Reddy's remarks targeting a section of the Opposition for not allowing debate on the issue triggered a fresh uproar with Congress and TMC members protesting his statements.

Reddy said he should be allowed to speak as he has already initiated the debate a few days back when he, as also B Mahtab of BJD, had given notice on the issue under Rule 193 that does not entail voting.

TMC's Kalyan Banerjee was heard telling Reddy as to why he was sitting in the Opposition benches and not formally switching sides to become a minister. TMC and Congress members also took exception to Reddy's remarks that all political parties have hailed note ban at an all-party meeting held before the start of the session.

At the outset, Kharge said his party wanted a debate as demonetisation has hit hard the common man but "Modi saheb is running away and is not coming to Parliament."

Once again today, BJP veteran L K Advani vented his ire at frequent disruptions. As soon as the House was adjourned or the day, Advani told a group of MPs that "I feel like resigning".

When the House assembled for the day, Lok Sabha witnessed uproar as Opposition targeted the government on the demonetisation issue even as the ruling BJP members sought to pin down the Congress over alleged bribery in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, leading to adjournment of proceedings till noon.

Members from Opposition and Treasury benches resorted to high decibel sloganeering soon after the House condoled the death of two former members.

A belligerent Opposition, including members of the Congress, TMC and Left parties, raised slogans demanding discussion on the demonetisation issue.

Seeking to counter them, members from the Treasury benches were on their feet waving copies of a newspaper on reports that some people in the erstwhile UPA regime allegedly received money in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal.

Using his lung power to make his submission amid the din, the Leader of Opposition said, "the ruling side is not allowing Parliament to function."

Mayawati (BSP), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) and Derek O'Brien (TMC) too rose to speak but nothing could be heard in the din.

At this point, Congress members trooped into the Well of the House shouting slogans demanding waiver of farm loans.

Kurien tried to restore order but his pleas fell on deaf ears, forcing him to adjourn the proceedings till 1200 hours.

When the House met at noon for the Question Hour, pandemonium prevailed as members of both Congress and BJP were on their feet raising slogans and counter-slogans.

With both Opposition and Treasury benches creating an uproar, pleas by Chairman Hamid Ansari to allow the Question Hour went unheard. He also warned members displaying some posters.

Amid the continued uproar, Ansari adjourned the House initially for 30 minutes.

When the House met again, there was ruckus with Opposition members again on their feet raising their issue.

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said farmers were facing problems.

Several members of Congress were heard shouting slogans.

With repeated pleas for restoring of the order going undeeded, Ansari adjourned the House till 1400 hours.

The House saw uproar again when it re-convened.

Naresh Agarwal of Samajwadi Party said the condition of farmers is bad after demonetisation.

"We hoped that the Prime Minister will announce a loan waiver for farmers which will benefit them," Agarwal said.

He said the farmers are unable to sow seeds or sell their produce following the cash crunch post-demonetisation.

Satish Chandra Mishra of the BSP said the farmers' seeds are rotting and they do not have money to buy fertilisers etc.

The ruling side members shouted back.

Amid a shouting match, Kurien said: "The item to be taken up is a discussion on demonetisation of currency. Since both sides are disrupting, I will have to assume that both sides do not want a discussion".

Opposition members then stormed the well of the House, prompting the Deputy Chairman to adjourn it till tomorrow.

In the Lok Sabha too, the government and the Opposition traded charges, with BJP adding fuel to the fire by bringing the Gandhi family under attack in the AgustaWestland case.

TMC's Sudip Bandhopadhyay and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the Opposition wanted a debate on demonetisation even without voting or under any rule but there were counter attacks from the BJP side, leading to continued heated exchanges in the House.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar launched a scathing attack on the Opposition, accusing it of scuttling debate from the day the session began on November 16.

Charging the Opposition with attempting to fail the note ban move, he said Congress was trying to "manage currency" (note jugaad) post-demonetisation when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a vigorous campaign against black money.

Ananth Kumar referred to the VVIP chopper scam issue, saying the "master middleman" Christian Michel has named "the first family of the UPA" and, therefore, Congress is running away from the debate. He said there should also be a discussion on the VVIP chopper scam.

This led to furious Congress members again storming the Well raising slogans denouncing the Modi government.

TRS member A P Jeethendar Reddy's remarks targeting a section of the Opposition for not allowing debate on demonetisation triggered a fresh uproar with Congress and TMC members protesting his statements.

Reddy said he should be allowed to speak on demonetisation as he had already initiated the debate a few days back when he, as also B Mahtab of BJD, had given notice on the issue under Rule 193 that does not entail voting.

TMC's Kalyan Banerjee was heard telling Reddy as to why he was sitting in the Opposition benches and not formally switching sides to become a minister.

TMC and Congress members also took exception to Reddy's remarks that all political parties have hailed note ban at an all-party meeting held before the start of the session.

At the outset, Kharge said his party wanted a debate as demonetisation has hit hard the common man but "Modi saheb is running away and is not coming to Parliament."

Amid the ruckus, BJP veteran L K Advani once again vented his ire over the developments and told a group of MPs, after an adjournment of the House for the day minutes past noon, that "I feel like resigning".

Earlier when the House assembled for the day, it saw uproar as Opposition targeted the government on the demonetisation issue while the ruling BJP members sought to pin down the Congress over alleged bribery in the AgustaWestland chopper deal.

Members from Opposition and Treasury benches resorted to high decibel sloganeering soon after the House condoled the death of two former members.

A belligerent Opposition, including members from the Congress, TMC and Left parties, raised slogans demanding discussion on the demonetisation issue.

Seeking to counter them, members from the Treasury benches were on their feet waving copies of a newspaper on reports that some people in the erstwhile UPA regime allegedly received money in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal.



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