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Day 1 of Parliament session washed out

New Delhi, Nov 22, 2012, DHNS 1:14 IST

BJP-led Opposition sticks to demand for discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail

ndian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (C) arrives at the Parliament House to attend the winter session of parliament in New Delhi on November 22, 2012. India's shaky government and the opposition locked horns on Thursday as parliament re-opened for a crucial session that will see a recent string of pro-market reforms being hotly contested. AFP
Parliament had a stormy start of its Winter Session on Thursday as the Opposition members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha created pandemonium on various issues including FDI in multi-brand retail, forcing adjournments of the two Houses for the day.

As expected, the first day of the Session was completely washed out. Almost no business listed in the schedule could be taken up in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha due to ruckus created by Opposition members.

The BJP-led NDA members kept pressing for a discussion on the FDI in retail issue under Rule 184 which entails voting, while the BSP members repeatedly stormed the well demanding dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh and reservation to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes in promotions in government jobs. Amidst the din, only Coal Mines (Conservation and Development) Amendment Bill, 2012, could be tabled by the government in the Lok Sabha while the day’s schedule of the House had three important bills in the list including Money-Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011, for their introduction. AIADMK members also raised the FDI issue from their seats showing pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US president Barack Obama’s togetherness on the issue.

As the Lok Labha and Rajya Sabha assembled for the day, both plunged into turmoil soon after members mourned the demise of former parliamentarians, Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray and loss of lives in cyclones in US and Tamil Nadu. In the Lower House, BSP members stormed the well demanding dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh while Samajwadi Party members trooped into the well protesting the Centre’s decision to put cap on the subsidised cooking gas. Some members belonging to Left were also seen in the aisle, trying to raise certain issues, while BJP members were heard accusing SP and BSP of helping the government through their protest. “What are you doing?...Don’t do this…You go back..You take your seat… Sit down,” Speaker Meira Kumar kept on saying, while making efforts to bring the House in order, in vain.

Sushma Swaraj stood up and pressed for a discussion on FDI in retail under Rule 184 that entails voting.

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