NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday said it would continue to protest against rising inflation and high prices of petroleum products, and would demand a discussion on the issue in Parliament.
The first day of the second part of the Budget Session of Parliament in Rajya Sabha was virtually washed out due to the uproar created by the Congress.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said he had given a notice to the chairman under rule 267 for a discussion on rising prices of petrol, diesel and LPG, due to which farmers, women and common people are upset, but it was disallowed.
"We wanted to raise the anger among people against the rise in prices and wanted to raise it in Parliament.
But the government did not agree to it as it was not ready.
"We will continue to raise our demand, and our agitation for raising the voice of the common man will also continue in Parliament,"he told reporters.
Kharge said when the Congress party raises such issues, it is not given time to raise them in Parliament.
"We want that time be given to us to raise such issues concerning the common people in Parliament and are fighting it in the house. Other parties also are with us and are cooperating with us on this issue. We will continue to raise our demand and protests in Parliament to raise issue concerning the common people," he said.
The Congress alleged the Modi government has earned at least Rs 21 lakh crore in the last over six years by raising prices of petrol, diesel and LPG.
"Where has that money gone. Whom did you give that money to," he asked.
He alleged that on one side, the government is reducing the burden of the rich by reducing taxes of big corporates, on the other it is putting more burden on women, middle class and common people, which they are unable to bear.
Every commodity, including food articles, is becoming expensive, he claimed.
"On one side, you are filling the treasury but are not looking at how it is impacting the common people," he said, adding that the people of the country have suffered earlier due to demonetisation and then due to the sudden lockdown after COVID-19 pandemic.
The economic situation has been shattered in COVID-19 times and the rise in petroleum products is adding to the problems, he said.
Kharge alleged that the cess and taxes on petroleum products have not been imposed by bigger, developed countries as have been done by the Modi government.
He said Congress president Sonia Gandhi has also written to the prime minister in this regard.
The Congress is demanding that the prices of petrol, diesel and LG be brought back to the levels of 2013-14 and the Congress chief has said this in her letter to the PM, raising the concerns and problems of people.
Congress leader Deepinder Hooda said the entire country, including farmers, are suffering due to the price rise and inflation.
He claimed that price of paddy and wheat have risen only by 30 per cent from 2016 to 2020 but diesel has risen by 89 per cent, and asked when the government will fulfil its promise of doubling farmers' income.
He said the Congress members wanted to raise the issue of 273 farmers who have died during the agitation but not even a word has come from the government.
"We wanted to raise this issue in Parliament and wanted Parliament to make an obituary reference to those farmers who died and crores of farmers have been hurt,"he said.
Congress leader Naseer Hussain said they are being dubbed unparliamentary when they raise the demand for a discussion on the rising prices in Rajya Sabha.
"Is there any space in our parliamentary democracy to raise issues concerning the common man? The manner in which they are running Parliament. If we will not raise demands of people and raise their issue in Parliament, then what is parliamentary democracy for. If we are accused of being unparliamentary in Parliament, then what is parliamentary," he asked.
"The way they want to shut down the voice of the common man, it is condemnable. But, we will continue to raise our voice for the people," Hussain alleged.
Earlier in the Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Kharge raised the issue of rise in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG and demanded that the Upper House discuss this "burning subject" as the people are suffering.
Kharge gave a notice under Section 267 to suspend the legislative business of the House and discuss the issue, but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not accept it, and said the matter can be raised during the discussion on the appropriation bill.
He said enough opportunities will be there to discuss this issue during this part of the Budget session.
However, Naidu allowed the leader of opposition to mention the issue in the House.
"This is a very important issue and it is a burning subject. Throughout the country, people are agitated," Kharge said.