Parliament standoff: Government reaches out, Opposition to take call today

The government refused to take up a debate under a rule which entails voting at the end while the Opposition, which did not appear to be united on the voting issue, insisted on an adjournment motion.

Written by Liz Mathew , Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: November 24, 2016 12:53 pm
demonetisation, rajya sabha, parliament, winter session, modi, narendra modi, pm modi, demonetisation protests, corruption, black money, opposition, latest news, arun jaitley, rajnath singh, india news Narendra Modi (left) with top cabinet ministers and opposition leaders (right) protesting in front of Parliament.

Under Opposition fire ever since it demonetised notes of higher denomination, the government Wednesday reached out to rivals, seeking a discussion to end the deadlock in Parliament where protests have washed out proceedings for a week now. Opposition floor leaders gave no immediate commitment and said they would take a call Thursday.

Sources said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar spoke to Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, and leaders of the CPM, Trinamool Congress, BSP and Samajwadi Party and invited them for a meeting to be chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in an attempt to end the impasse.

Azad, sources said, told the government that the Congress cannot take a decision on its own and will consult the other Opposition parties Thursday morning on the government proposal for a meeting.

WATCH VIDEO: PM Narendra Modi Likely To Be Present In Rajya Sabha: What To Expect

The move came on a day which saw 14 Opposition parties staging a joint protest on the premises of Parliament House. Opposition parties have called for a nationwide protest, Jan Aakrosh Diwas, on November 28 against what they called the government’s disastrous implementation of its demonetisation move.

On Wednesday, exchanges between the treasury benches and the Opposition over the rule under which a debate on demonetisation should take place stalled Lok Sabha while Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments with the Opposition demanding the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the House.

The government refused to take up a debate under a rule which entails voting at the end while the Opposition, which did not appear to be united on the voting issue, insisted on an adjournment motion.

The Prime Minister was present in Lok Sabha since questions relating to the departments he handles were to come up in the lower House. He is likely to be in Rajya Sabha Thursday during question hour.

In Lok Sabha, the ruling BJP managed to bring on board allies Shiv Sena and SAD (Badal) which had reservations on the demonetisation rollout. Leaders of both parties said that they would settle for a discussion under Rule 193 which is the government’s preference. On the opening day of the winter session, Shiv Sena MPs had joined a Trinamool Congress protest march to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The AIADMK, which had stayed away from protests inside the House, joined the Congress, Left, TMC, SP, BSP, DMK, JD(U) and other parties at a demonstration staged before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the premises of Parliament House.

When Lok Sabha met in the morning, the Prime Minister was present in the House. He watched as Congress and TMC MPs rushed to the well, shouting slogans and raising placards. Congress MPs also carried two banners, one with a slogan that questioned the “absence” of the Prime Minister.

Congress MPs paid no heed to repeated warnings from Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that banners in the House violated its rules. “You are such a responsible party, you are doing all these things. I am sorry. This is not fair,” she said, adding that the issue could be taken up after question hour. As she took up questions and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad began replying, Opposition MPs raised a din to shut out the minister’s response.

The Prime Minister remained on his seat for a few minutes after the House was adjourned at 11.06 am. He was seen talking to Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar. BJP MPs then converged there to compliment Modi on the demonetisation decision.

When Lok Sabha proceedings resumed at noon, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said his party was ready for a discussion. “But a message has gone out that the Opposition is not ready for discussion. People are distressed, people are in pain and we want to discuss their problems. What we want is that the Prime Minister should be present here. You (Speaker) should allow us the adjournment motion,” he said.

At this, Ananth Kumar said: “If the Opposition offers any constructive suggestion, we will heed to it, implement it. We have launched a campaign against black money, fake currency and corruption and the people of India are supporting Modi.”

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) and Jithender Reddy (TRS), two parties which have not joined the Congress-led protests, favoured early resolution of the impasse for resumption of House proceedings.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

First Published on: November 24, 2016 3:11 am
  1. K
    Kaumil patel
    Nov 24, 2016 at 9:32 am
    We support the prime minister's for this great decision
    Reply
    1. A
      aa
      Nov 25, 2016 at 5:05 am
      please Modi ji aap ye decision piche na le.....ye log chup ho jayenge
      Reply
      1. A
        Apr
        Nov 25, 2016 at 3:56 am
        Opposition leaders are anti nationals and pro corruption lt;br/gt;People of India should bury opposition parties under mile
        Reply
        1. P
          Pawan
          Nov 24, 2016 at 7:22 am
          We support pm modi .
          Reply
          1. A
            ashok s
            Nov 24, 2016 at 12:12 am
            Pm should definitely speak in Parliament .
            Reply
            1. R
              rahul pathak
              Nov 24, 2016 at 3:53 am
              seems to be not cores of people suffering but a its seems cores of rupees of politician has hit hard :):):) now they are taking umbrella of common man to protect it. we the people of India are with our PM modi.
              Reply
              1. S
                sonata
                Nov 24, 2016 at 4:17 am
                Let there be e.pole.Leader are joined together in the name of people suffering are actually there suffering for cancellation of own unaccounted money.
                Reply
                1. B
                  Bipul Roy
                  Nov 24, 2016 at 1:34 am
                  We are very proud of PM Modi as you have taken a right decision .keep fighting We Indians are with you
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    sunny
                    Nov 24, 2016 at 2:56 am
                    there is no change in ground reality the cashless banks and Hared Customers are all over and I Myself one of them,people are talking about Black Money and making Tall Claims of it while the Common Person is unable to Withdraw his hard earned White Money,RBI,Finance Minister and Economic Secretary all are Liars and coming up with Theories from Mars while the Ground Reality is very different
                    Reply
                    1. H
                      harshul
                      Nov 24, 2016 at 4:31 am
                      They are wasting public money by doing this Drama. If you want to discuss, PM was in house yesterday, why didnt they discuss and resolve. Making a political drama out of everything. lt;br/gt;Only people shouting here are the ones with stashes of cash lying at their homes. If you want public to support you, declare your Income, ets and their sources first.lt;br/gt;If Mamta, Rahul ets are ready to declare all that and ready for any punishment if records are scrutinised, People will support them.
                      Reply
                      1. J
                        Jayananda Rao
                        Nov 24, 2016 at 2:31 am
                        What's happening on the floor of Parliament is a Tamaahs,both the opposition and the ruling combine knows it.As the proceedings of the Lok Sabha is live telecast by almost all the national channels, the political parties and members want to show that they are the true insurers of the people's interest. It is omfact,nothing different from the drama pla in RAM Leela,during Dusserah or Diwali. both the cases, the theme is good.So enjoy without taking positions
                        Reply
                        1. K
                          K.Bhadrinath
                          Nov 24, 2016 at 3:14 am
                          Looking at open statements from Pro PM persons like Swamy and the meetings of Arun Jaitley and Amit shaw in Chennai shows that this message is conve to the close people of PM.
                          Reply
                          1. K
                            K.Bhadrinath
                            Nov 24, 2016 at 3:15 am
                            The GOVT should place on record how much unaccounted money unearthed honestly in the Lok and rajya sabha.
                            Reply
                            1. K
                              K.Bhadrinath
                              Nov 24, 2016 at 3:12 am
                              My fear is this GOVT may totally misuse this policy to protect those accounts in Swiss bank and waive loans convincingly of those who are close to PM.
                              Reply
                              1. L
                                Lalit Mohan
                                Nov 24, 2016 at 1:03 pm
                                people are very much happy with the demonetisation. Sparing very few incidents of queue in banks/ATMs things have settled. Why oppostion is shouting in LOk sabha/Rajya sabha but dare not to face public on the issue. Such MPs/parties should be banned.
                                Reply
                                1. N
                                  Niladrinath Mohanty
                                  Nov 24, 2016 at 3:16 am
                                  Last night I talked to a Bengali friend in Kolkata (I have deliberately mentioned that my friend is a Bengali) and asked him about the general feeling of people in Kolkata regarding the demonetization surgery conducted by Prime Minister Modi. He informed me that majority of people have welcomed the action. Then I asked him whether it is his personal view and of the cl to which he belongs or it is represents a cross section views. He added that it represents the generally held opinion. Modi's APP opinion poll cannot be equaled to a general referendum because of its limited and restricted field. For example I have a view but do possess an APP device. I do not know the language used in the e-poll.If is restricted to only English and Hindi the base becomes narrow. I have great reservation about the we practice democracy and shout about it. A suitably designed e-poll has merit and can correct some deficiencies, free it from se/lfish and hypo-critical professional politicians and show them their place. But having been accustomed to power and pelf as MPs they will oppose such polls by claiming that Narendra Modi sab=otaging parliamentary democracy though all political parties have sab=otaged parliamentary practice when in opposition. One has to watch the proceedings of House of Commons to appreciate this. I am expecting another furore in the Lok Sabha after this e-poll with the claim that Modi is byping the Parliament and des-troying democracy.
                                  Reply
                                  1. N
                                    Niladrinath Mohanty
                                    Nov 24, 2016 at 3:24 am
                                    Such well designed e-polls can also show the Govt. where it stands.
                                    Reply
                                    1. T
                                      T.R.Krishnamoorthy
                                      Nov 24, 2016 at 12:19 am
                                      SIMPLE LOGIC. NO ONE CAN, AND SHOULD WITHDRAW WHAT IS ALREADY DONE. ONLY THING IS TO BRING BACK NORMALCY AT THE EARLIEST .
                                      Reply
                                      1. P
                                        pk
                                        Nov 25, 2016 at 8:28 am
                                        those who thinks that peoples are not supporting demonetization they must go and check with the locals. Coz those parties are supporting the bandh or against demonetization r the most corrupt one.
                                        Reply
                                        1. P
                                          pundai periyar
                                          Nov 24, 2016 at 3:02 am
                                          I am worried under pressure from congress and communists, Modi may roll back the scheme - then India is doomed for ever
                                          Reply
                                          1. P
                                            Poo
                                            Nov 24, 2016 at 10:57 am
                                            Things have settled to a great extent in 15 days...one more month to go...everything will be good...I think people who are opposing have loads and loads to off load...thats why they are protesting...
                                            Reply
                                            1. Load More Comments