Worried govt drafts plan to end Parliament stalemate

Neither House transacts any substantive business on Day 2
Last Updated 23 November 2011, 19:54 IST

The Congress top brass met at the 7, Race Course residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and decided to allow discussion on a Left-sponsored adjournment motion on price rise, but without division.

The government is also likely to hold discussion on the issue black money under rule 193, which does not entail voting.

The two concessions, the government sources hope, will satisfy the BJP and the Left which have relentlessly harangued the government in the winter session that began on Monday.
Those who took part in the meeting include Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Parliament Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal and Law Minister Salman Khurshid.

Sources in the party said the government was keen on breaking the impasse as 31 important bills, some related to key economic issues, are pending Parliament approval.

The main opposition BJP, which has been boycotting Union Home Minister P Chidambaram who it says was also culpable in the 2G spectrum scandal, has indicated that it wants to allow smooth functioning of the House, albeit with the government making some concessions on its demands.

Earlier in the day, Parliament continued to experience a growing chill on the second day, and saw no important business conducted. The Lok Sabha witnessed the Opposition as well as the ruling UPA members protesting over separate issues, bringing the house proceedings to a complete  halt.

The main opposition BJP held that it would extend support to the Left parties’ adjournment motion on the issue of price rise and later take up a similar motion on the issue of black money.

“BJP does not want a division in the combined opposition. We will participate in the Left moved adjournment motion”, senior BJP leader S S Ahluwalia said. The left parties are demanding motion under a substantive clause (184) involving voting.

The opposition MPs disrupted the Lok Sabha proceedings over corruption and black money, price rise and delay in creation of Telangana. The Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) members’ demand for a separate Telananga state was countered by the Congress MPs, who stood up and lodged protest by holding placards.

The two of the ruling UPAconstituents-DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – too joined the clamour, protesting against a film and restrictions on onion exports respectively.

Left MPs trooped into the well of the Lok Sabha soon after the House observed a minute’s silence to condole the death of seven people, who died in Doon Express fire on Tuesday.

They demanded the Speaker accept their adjournment notice and hold a debate on the issue of price rise under a rule that entails voting.

The BJP MPs did not leave their seats, but pressed for admission of their adjournment motion on black money.

Speaker Meira Kumar first adjourned the Lok Sabha till noon. But the pandemonium continued when the House re-assembled. The House was then adjourned till Thursday.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members also trooped into the well of the House in support of the Left MPs, shouting slogans against price rise. The Upper House too was first adjourned till 12 noon and then for the rest of the day.

(Published 23 November 2011, 05:50 IST)

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