Unrelenting Opposition parties rock Parliament

Unrelenting Opposition parties rock Parliament

Agitated MPs disrupt proceedings of the Houses several times

Unrelenting Opposition parties rock Parliament

From the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the Left, the entire spectrum of the Opposition, as well as the ruling United Progressive Alliance’s outside supporters Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP), were seen on the same side. They voiced their protest against the government's failure to check price rise and stormed the wells of both Houses.

The agitated MPs forced adjournment of the two Houses  several times, prompting the calling off proceedings for the day. With the government ruling out an adjournment motion as demanded by the Opposition, the proceedings are likely to be disrupted on Wednesday also.

The ruling side has offered to hold a discussion on price rise in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, but the Opposition BJP has remained steadfast on seeking an adjournment motion.

In the Lok Sabha, as the government opposed adjournment motion saying price rise was a continuing matter, the Opposition countered it by giving an adjournment notice to discuss the rise in the prices of kerosene and LPG, which it said had severely impacted the common man.

“Accept our adjournment motions and allow a discussion on the issue,” Leader of  Opposition Sushma Swaraj said amid the din, but Speaker Meira Kumar did not concede  the demand.

What added to the government’s embarrassment were slogans from the RJD and SP,  its outside allies, with their members shouting: “Jo Sarkar Nikammi Hai, Woh Sarkar Badalani Hai (we have to change this useless government).” The Samajwadi Party's rival in Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party, also asked for a discussion on the issue.

‘Detailed discussion’

“We demand a detailed discussion on the price rise first. All Opposition parties are united on this issue. Please accept our demand of an adjournment motion and give us an opportunity to discuss the issue,” Swaraj said. Kumar, however, managed to get the various ministers lay the day’s papers and also make Petroleum Minister Murli Deora make a statement on fuel prices hike, though nobody could hear what they were reading out.

Later, BJP Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde said his party would persist with the adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha and a notice for discussion under Rule 168 in the Rajya Sabha on the hike in the prices of petroleum products. Both notices entail voting.

In a carefully thought out strategy, the BJP has not brought up the arrest of party minister Amit Shah in Gujarat, so as to keep the Opposition as well as the RJD and SP on the same side on the price rise issue.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal said the government was prepared to discuss any of the 62 issues that the Oppositions wants debated in Parliament as per relevant rules but added that the decision to allow discussion is left to the presiding officers.

He said the business advisory committee of the Lok Sabha met on Tuesday and decided to take up debate on several Bills such as SBI Amendment Bill, Medical Council of India Amendment Bill and the government notice on population stability during the session.

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