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The government and the opposition, yet again failed to break the deadlock over discussion on the demonetisation issue under provisions that entail voting and the noisy scenes prompted the Speaker to adjourn the House for the day. As the House assembled at noon after a brief adjournment, the Opposition demanded discussion on the issue of demonetisation.
Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, said the Opposition wants to hold discussion on the issue. “You should give consent for discussion under Rule 56. This is a big issue, scam and scandal. Government employees, poor people are not getting salaries. We want to put forth the problems faced by them. But you want to run away from discussion.
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“People are being murdered in installments. Every day there is a new firman (order), the country is facing trouble, but the government is at ease,” Kharge said.
Mahajan took an objection to the word ‘scandal’ used by Kharge. “This is not a scandal. I am ready for discussion. Even yesterday, I said I can relax all rules for discussion on the issue as this is under my jurisdiction. Let’s start the discussion,” she said.
However, the Opposition, joined by the JD(U), CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress jumped into the Well, demanding discussion under provisions that entail voting.
Hitting out at the Opposition, particularly the Congress, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, “We are ready for discussion, but the Congress is not. You (Mahajan) said we can discuss everything, from zero to universe, but Congress only wants to go from zero to zero.
“They should not dare to stop the fight against black money as the whole country is with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
As the deadlock continued, TRS MP Jithender Reddy sought an intervention from seniors like BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab.
Mahtab said Parliament functions on rules and conventions and not as per the “whims and caprice”. “I request the government to take initiative and talk to respective political parties and start the discussion,” he said.
When Mahajan again said, “Let’s start the discussion,” Kharge said this was possible only under provision of voting.
Attacking the government, TMC’s Sudeep Bandopadhyay, said the black money holders are happy because the government has fixed the “50-50 ratio”, while poor are suffering. He was referring to the new amendments in IT Act passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
“Black money should be properly punished, but what is happening is that common people are suffering. We simply want discussion with voting. Why is the government not ready for discussion….,” the TMC MP said.
Opposition members, including those from Congress and TMC, stood in the Well of the House, raising their pitch against the government over the demonetisation issue.
Members from the Left parties, Samajwadi Party and AIUDF also joined them while those from the AIADMK and NCP were seen standing near their seats.
Interestingly, as Opposition members raised anti-government slogans demanding voting, BJP members started shouting ‘Modi Modi’ to counter them.
Earlier when the House assembled for the day, Mahajan took up the Question Hour, but protesting Opposition members turned vociferous with their slogan shouting besides occasionally resorting to howling and clapping.
In the din, the Speaker could take up only two questions and the related supplementaries, before adjourning the House proceedings till noon.
Rahul Gandhi was present in the House during the Question Hour, and most of the time he was seen talking to Congress MPs Jyotiraditya Scindia, Shashi Tharoor and Deepender Singh Hooda.