Rajya Sabha : Opposition demands Modi’s presence in house for note ban debate

New Delhi, Nov 24: Rajya Sabha on Thursday began on a stormy note with the Opposition demanding that they would only debate on the note ban issue if Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the session.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley lashed out Congress and other parties for stalling Parliament proceedings. Speaker P J Kurien clarified that the debate on demonetisation would take place later in the afternoon, indicating that Modi would be present then.
Top BJP leaders held a meeting at Rajnath Singh’s chamber in Parliament on Thursday as the government attempts to find a truce with a united opposition just before the session began. Another round of meeting was held at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chamber who was expected to attend the Rajya Sabha.

Since the first day of the ongoing Winter Session, the opposition leaders have been demanding that the Prime Minister speak on the issue.

Even though most of them support the government’s move on fight against black money, they are protesting against the way it was implemented as even after third week of the announcement on November 8, long queues can be seen outside ATMs and banks, with people looking to either exchange or deposit old notes.

Rejecting the demand of opposition parties to roll back the decision on demonetisation, Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu yesterday said the nation has supported the government’s step to unearth black money and added that the decision has been taken keeping in view of the welfare of the farmers and the marginalised sections of society.

He said that Prime Minister Modi took a bold decision to curb black money by invalidating the currency notes of 500 and 1,000 denominations.

For the fifth day yesterday, Parliament could not transact any substantial business due to uproar on demonetisation issue as both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments amid allegations and counter-allegations by the members of opposition and treasury benches.

Earlier, Congress’s Anand Sharma alleged that the government has created financial anarchy in the country by demonetisation.

Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) reiterated his demand for payment of compensation to the kith and kin of those who have reportedly died of trauma while queuing outside banks and ATMs.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said the situation in the country is grim and the absence of the Prime Minister in the House is an “insult”.

Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the government is answerable to the House and Parliament is answerable to the people.