The winter session of Parliament is headed for a near-washout as no substantial discussion or debate took place on Thursday. Opposition political parties continued to protest over demonetisation demanding a discussion in the House. They also sought a meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the matter. While the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day, Rajya Sabha is scheduled to reconvene at 2 pm. Earlier, both Houses had been adjourned till noon after Opposition members and treasury bench continued their sloganeering disrupting proceedings in the House.
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Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded farm loan waiver from the government in order to provide some respite to the farmers hit by demonetisation. Meanwhile, the ruling benches raised allegations of bribery in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, claiming that some leaders in the UPA regime had received money in the deal. Azad said “It is the ruling party which is disrupting the House… in both Houses (of Parliament), it is the ruling party which is not allowing Parliament to function. It is for the first time in the history of independent India that the ruling party is not allowing the House to function.”
Mayawati , Sitaram Yechury and Derek O’Brien too tried to make their points heard. However, neither of them could be heard due to pandemonium. At this point, Congress members trooped into the Well of the House shouting slogans demanding waiver of farm loans. Deputy Chairman P J Kurien was unable to restore order in the House and was forced to adjourn the proceedings.
In Lok Sabha, situation was no different. MPs from the Congress, TMC and Left parties, raised slogans demanding discussion on demonetisation. In return, members from the Treasury brought up the AgustaWestland helicopter deal waving copies of reports in a newspaper. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s repeated pleas for order went unheard. Referring to the Opposition as well as the Treasury benches, she said it was not right for both sides to show the papers. “You (people) are responsible MPs… This is very bad,” Mahajan said.
However, amid the ruckus, one question was taken up during Question Hour. Apart from this, the House also condoled the death of two
former members — N Anbuchezhian and P V Rajeshwar Rao. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi were also present in the House.