Sena logs into Opposition mode in Parliament

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut speaks in the Rajya Sabha on the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi. PTI

As it severed its relationship with BJP, Shiv Sena logged into Opposition mode on Monday in Parliament by staging protests and a walkout, signing a Trinamool Congress notice seeking a discussion on the "grave" situation of country's economy and a subtle hint about how late Arun Jaitley used to "honour" relationships.

All eyes were on what Sena MPs will be up to as the Winter Session began and they started their new innings with a demonstration near Shivaji Statue in Parliament House complex just before Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha met, protesting against the BJP-led government for not taking steps to alleviate the problems of farmers.

The MPs brought their protest inside Lok Sabha soon after the proceedings began by raising slogans demanding relief for farmers and walked out of the House.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla too acknowledged Sena's change in stand as its floor leader Arvind Sawant, who quit the Narendra Modi ministry earlier this month following the political drama that played out in Maharashtra, wanted to raise the issue. "You are now in a new role, you will get an opportunity," Birla said as Sawant led his party MPs in the protest.

In Rajya Sabha, its floor leader Sanjay Raut used his chance to pay tributes to five sitting and former MPs to make a subtle hint about the bitterness between BJP and Sena.

Remembering to former Finance Minister Jaitley, who died in August, Raut said he and others always supported the late leader always. "He used to give us instructions and we used to completely implement it. What is a relationship and how to honour relations, if we have learnt from someone, it is Arun Jaitley," he said.

Sources also said Raut has signed a notice submitted by Trinamool Congress seeking a Short Duration Discussion on the “grave economic crisis facing India and how to improve the situation”. Other parties like Samajwadi Party, DMK, NCP, AAP, RJD and MDMK too have signed the Trinamool notice while Congress has given a separate notice.

In a meeting with Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, the Opposition leaders are learnt to have demanded that the notice on the economy should be taken up first and they would want a short duration discussion and calling attention motion every week.

The Opposition is planning to raise the slowdown in the economy, disinvestment plans for PSUs as well as Air India and non-disclosure of data among other things.

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