Demonetisation bedlam continues in Parliament (Roundup)

New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) A day after President Pranab Mukherjee expressed anguish over the Parliament logjam, both houses saw more bedlam on Friday, the fourth week of a disrupted winter session.

On Friday, however, it were the treasury benches who created pandemonium in the Lok Sabha, aggressively blaming the opposition for wasting people’s money by not letting Parliament function.

This led to another premature adjournment for the day.

The Rajya Sabha witnessed acrimonious scenes as the opposition derailed the proceedings over the government’s decision to reduce the wheat import duty to zero per cent. They dubbed the government “anti-farmer”.

Both houses were adjourned for the day amid repeated disruptions.

After the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the first time, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi trained his guns at the government saying he was not being allowed to speak.

“For the last one month I want to speak in the Lok Sabha… what is in the heart of the poor across the country about demonetisation,” Gandhi told the media. “If they allow me to speak, there shall be an earthquake.”

He alleged that demonetisation was the biggest scam in Indian history.

“If I say this inside the house, Modiji will not be able to sit. I want to talk about the biggest scam that has been orchestrated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but I am being stopped from speaking.”

The government and the opposition have locked horns over the note ban that has caused an unprecedented cash crunch across the country, wiping out virtually the entire winter session of Parliament.

Earlier, when the house met at 11, the ruling party members blamed the opposition for not letting Parliament function and asked them to go to the Jantar Mantar if they believed in dharna.

As the Speaker announced the Question Hour, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was on his feet. But members from the treasury benches shouted back quoting President Pranab Mukherjee as saying that the majority was being disrupted by a minority in Parliament.

The scene was the same when the house reconvened. Bharatiya Janata Party’s Meenakshi Lekhi said Parliament was not the place for protests.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.N. Ananth Kumar said the opposition should apologize to the nation.

“This is not the way… when the majority wants to participate in a discussion, they are disrupting,” he said.

The Speaker then adjourned the house till noon.

When the house met again, the Speaker announced that AAP MP Bhagwant Mann had been found guilty of video-recording Parliament’s security system and suspended for the rest of the ongoing winter session.

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar introduced the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016 amid sloganeering.

As the Speaker announced Zero Hour, opposition members shouted “shame, shame”.

The Speaker then adjourned the house till Wednesday, saying: “Jao, sab chhutti par” (All of you take a holiday).

In the Rajya Sabha, post lunch, Anand Sharma of the Congress urged Deputy Speaker P.J. Kurien to adjourn the house as there was no quorum.

The quorum bell was rung but the required number of MPs could not be gathered. And so the house was adjourned for the day.

With holidays on December 12 and 13, Parliament now has only three working days left before the session ends on December 16.

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said disruption of Parliament was “totally unacceptable”.

–IANS

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