Oppn stalls House over price rise

LS Speaker rejects adjournment motion, Sushma Swaraj says govt torturing people
Last Updated 28 July 2010, 19:45 IST

An adjournment is a suspension of proceedings to another time to discuss an urgent and recent subject in the Lok Sabha.

The decision prompted noisy protests from the opposition benches, resulting in the adjournment of the House for the day.

The Rajya Sabha also ended proceedings for the day after being disturbed twice by the opposition demand to discuss the price rise  issue under Rule 168  which involves voting.

In her ruling, the Speaker said an adjournment  motion could only be moved if the government was found not to have  discharged its constitutional or legal duty which was not the case now.  Her argument was similar to the one given by  Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who had earlier quoted former  Speakers of the Lok Sabha  saying that adjournment motion could be admitted if the subject is related to “failure of the government.” This is not the case here, Mukherjee said.

The notices for  adjournment motion were submitted by several leaders, including Sushma Swaraj (BJP), Shailendra Kumar (SP) , Sharad Yadav (JDU) and Gurudas Dasgupta  (CPI) on the recent increase in prices of petroleum products and essential commodities.

Dasgupta said he was extremely disappointed by the Speaker’s ruling and reiterated  that the Left Front would protest. “The government does not want to recognise that the price rise is extraordinary in this country. They are only trying to suppress the truth. We shall protest against this ruling. We will have a dharna here outside (Parliament House) on Thursday,” he said.

Pressing for admission of an adjournment motion on the price rise issue,  Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj attacked the government, saying it was torturing the “aam admi” on whose name the UPA came to power.

SP President  Mulayam Singh Yadav, who wanted the motion to be taken up, said the issue of price rise affected over 85 per cent of the people.

Mukherjee admitted price rise has caused sufferings to the people but Linked it to spiralling up of international price from $36-40 a barrel to $60-70 a barrel.  

He said government is ready to debate the issue, but not under adjournment motion. “Price rise is not because of government’s failure. Food inflation has come down from 21.4 per cent in December 2009 to 12.8 per cent now,” said  the minister.

Before the House was adjourned for the day, the speaker said she would consider notices for other forms of discussions.

(Published 28 July 2010, 19:45 IST)

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