Parliament logjam continues over demonetisation (Roundup)

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Demonetisation deadlocked Parliament functioning on Friday too as it failed to transact any meaningful business due to unrelenting opposition members adamant on their respective demands in both the houses.

While the opposition in Rajya Sabha reiterated its demand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apology for allegedly painting the entire opposition in a bad light during his public addresses, members in the Lok Sabha demanded a discussion on demonetisation under an adjournment motion that entails voting.

Both the houses saw an opposition uproar over Army personnel’s presence at toll plazas in West Bengal which was allegedly done without informing the state government.

The Union government, however, dubbed it a “routine exercise”.

In the upper house, the matter was raised by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad during the Zero Hour.

“This is not a matter of concern for one state government or one party only, but for the entire country,” Azad said.

Azad sought a clarification from the government and a statement from the Prime Minister.

Soon after, Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati raised the issue.

While Roy called it an attempt by the Centre to instil fear in the state, Mayawati called the move an attack on the federal structure of the nation.

“This was a routine annual data collection exercise by the Army,” Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bahmre said in a statement.

The members also raised various other issues during the Zero Hour, but as soon as the Chair gave a call for Question Hour at noon, the opposition members started making noise.

“Modi teri Hitlershahi, nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (Modi, you can’t govern like Hitler),” the opposition shouted and trooped near the Chairman’s podium.

Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the upper house till 2.30 p.m. amid the pandemonium. But as soon as the House met again at 2.30 p.m., the opposition members, mainly of the Congress, resumed sloganeering. The Chair then adjourned the House till December 5.

In the Lok Sabha, the opposition continued to create ruckus over demonetisation. The Congress and the TMC pressed with their demand for a discussion under the rule entailing voting.

Trinamool leader Sudip Bandopadhyay also raised the issue of the army deployment in West Bengal, saying the state government was kept in the dark.

The claim was denied by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who dubbed it a routine exercise held annually for the past many years.

The Congress, Trinamool and the Left members then trooped near the Speaker’s podium and shouted slogans against November 8 demonetisation, while members of the AIADMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Nationalist Congress Party stood near their seats.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan urged the agitating members not to disturb the Question Hour but the opposition did not relent.

As the din continued during the Question Hour, Mahajan adjourned the lower house briefly till 12. When the House reassembled, she disallowed all adjournment motion notices given by dozens of opposition leaders on different issues.

As the notices were disallowed, the opposition members again trooped near the Speaker’s podium and continued their protest.

After half an hour, when the protests showed no signs of abating, Mahajan adjourned the house for the day.

–IANS

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