United oppn targets govt in Parliament

United oppn targets govt in Parliament

A united opposition today cornered the government in Parliament, accusing it of focusing on issues like religious conversions instead of fulfilling promises of bringing back black money and creating jobs.

Accusing the government of allowing conversions and remaining silent on poll promises like bringing back black money and providing employment opportunities, the opposition in both Houses did not allow government to respond and created uproar leading to three adjournments in the pre-lunch period in Rajya Sabha.

The Upper House was adjourned once during the Zero Hour and twice during Question Hour when members of SP, JD-U and TMC rushed to the Well raising slogans and holding placards highlighting unfulfilled promises made by government.

In the Lok Sabha, members of Samajwadi Party, RJD and JD-U staged a walkout after Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) accused the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not fulfilling promises to people who had voted this government to power.

As members protested holding posters, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed Yadav to speak.

The SP supremo said promises were made that farmers would get money in their accounts and that land encroached by China and Pakistan would be taken back. But "these promises have not been fulfilled... Ek kaam karke dikhaye (at least fulfil one promise)," he said.

In Rajya Sabha, Sharad Yadav (JD-U) raised the issue saying government's focus is on "ghar wapsi" campaigns through conversions instead of fulfilling promises made to people ahead of elections.

"You had promised incentive to farmers for their produce. Now a new thing has come... you did not say you will launch 'ghar wapsi' (conversion) campaigns. Your party ministers and MPs are saying this. You did not fulfil the promises made to people. You have forgotten them. That is why this House is not functioning," he said.

Ramgopal Yadav (SP) said the government made so many promises but did not fulfil any. "There are over 5 crore unemployed in the country. You did not create any job. Many parties are today sitting on a dharna and we have given a notice under Article 266 after suspension of all business to discuss this," he said.

He was supported by Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) and Derek O'Brien (TMC) who said they fully support the SP on the issue.

"The Prime Minister has not fulfilled any promise and he sought a 10-year moratorium on communal riots and communal polarisation, but the things that are happening are not good for the nation," Yechury said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is also Leader of the House, rejected the demand for a discussion on the issue while citing rule 169, whereby a discussion once held cannot be done again.

"The discussion has already taken place. The motion on a discussion itself is inadmissible," he said, adding that if there is any other issue the government is ready to discuss.

Anand Sharma (Cong) demanded that the Prime Minister should come to the House and reply to the members after hearing them on the issue of conversions.

"The Prime Minister should assure the House on conversions. Government is running away from a discussion on the issue, it is not the opposition which is running away. It is unfortunate," he said, adding it is the responsibility of the government to bring the House to order.

O'Brien said he was in favour of the SP demand for discussion and the Prime Minister should come and reply. "You don't need a 56-inch chest to come to the House and reply," he said.

D Raja (CPI) alleged that in the name of conversions and re-conversions certain organisations are flexing muscles.

In Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu responded to Yadav saying it is not an election rally but Parliament. Modi was present in the House at the time.

Soon after the House met, SP members trooped into the Well holding posters demanding that the government bring back black money stashed away abroad. There were over 20 members of TMC, JD-U and RJD in the Well.

When the Upper House met at noon things did not change as SP members carrying banners and shouting slogans against the government trooped in the Well. Members of JD-U and some from Congress were also on their feet.

Protesting members kept raising slogans of "Kala dhan wapas lao" ((bringb ack black money) and "wada khilaafi band karo" (don't go back on our promises).
As protesting members did not relent to Chairman Hamid Ansari's request to carry on with Question Hour, he adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

Similar scenes prevailed when the House re-assembled.
Though members from the ruling side insisted that questions should be taken up, the opposition did not relent.Ansari then adjourned the House till 2 PM.

When the Rajya Sabha re-assembled at 2 PM, members from Samajwadi Party, JD-U and TMC again trooped into the Well raising slogans and holding placards, leading to its adjournment till 3 PM.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien made several appeals to the opposition members to allow running of the House, but his pleas went unheeded.

Amid the din Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkiah Naidu urged members from both the opposition and ruling sides to allow taking up of a bill which was related to dwelling of lakhs of people in unauthorised colonies.

"I appeal to the entire House. There is one important bill, which is pending...its timeframe is December 31. It concerns lakhs of people...in unauthorised colonies. Give permission to take it up," Naidu said while opposition members continued with their uproar.

While the members continued to display placards like "Pradhanmantri kala dhan wapas lao" and "Pradhanmantri jawab do-jawab do", Kurien wanted to know their reaction on Naidu's appeal urging members to go back to their seats and cooperate.

As Kurien asked, "What is your reaction to Parliamentary Affais Minister's suggestions", members from opposition shouted leading to adjournment of the House till 3 PM.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Amendment Bill 2014, aiming at regularisation of unauthorised colonies and rehabilitation of slum dwellers and Jhuggi-Jhopri (slum) clusters in Delhi was listed against Naidu's name for consideration and passing in the House.

The bill, passed by Lok Sabha, seeks extension of the existing Act for a period of three years from January 1, 2015. It was introduced against the backdrop of phenomenal growth of Delhi that has led to problems of encroachment on public land, growth of slums, unauthorised constructions, large scale commercialisation of residential areas and inadequacy of housing stocks.

This Act expires on December 31, 2014, necessitating its further extension.

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