Minister urges opposition to allow demonetisation debate

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar on Monday appealed to opposition parties to allow the debate on demonetisation to take place after the Lok Sabha Speaker initiated it under Rule 193 in the lower House.

On Monday, a notice for debate on demonetisation given by Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartruhari Mahtab and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leader A.P. Jithendra Reddy was accepted by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Reddy initiated the debate.

However, other opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress and the Congress, created a ruckus and forced an adjournment.

“Today, the Lok Sabha started discussing demonetisation issue to weed away black money under Rule 193 moved by Bhartruhari Mahtab and A.P. Jithendra Reddy. It’s very unfortunate that though the chair allowed discussion, Reddy was not allowed to proceed,” Kumar said.

“The Congress and the Trinamool Congress MPs virtually gheraoed him and tried their level best to stop him from initiating the debate,” he said.

The minister said that the debate is now officially on.

“What opposition is doing is totally against parliamentary traditions. The TRS and the BJD and other members have every right to initiate the debate and participate.

“No member can object to it, by raising slogans and preventing him from speaking. It is very, very unbecoming of the opposition parties,” the minister said.

“Now that the debate has started, we request the Congress, TMC and other parties not to scuttle the parliamentary debate on demonetisation… Disruption cannot be parliamentary strategy,” he said.

The minister also said that important bills, including that for extending maternity leave, rights of persons with disabilities, employee’s compensation and HIV/AIDS, were pending.

“Omnibus obstructionism is mindless,” he added.