Biggest scam of this century: Congress
Opposition Congress, supported by TMC and JD(U), on Tuesday forced four adjournments of the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha over what it called as "biggest scam of this century" in the printing of two different kinds of 500 and 1000 rupee notes.
The government on Tuesday asserted that the new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes have single unique dimension.
"Bank notes in each denomination has a distinct dimension. The size of new design Rs 500 bank note is 66mm x 150mm and the size of new design Rs 2,000 bank note is 66mm x 166mm," Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Slogan-shouting Congress members trooped into the well even as Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the opposition party has been raising "frivolous" issues without giving notices to stall Zero Hour proceedings.
They were supported by Sharad Yadav (JD-U) who displayed copies of some currency notes.
Some members including Derek O'Brien (TMC) displayed the new 500 rupee notes issued after demonetisation to show the different sizes they were bring printed.
He first offered to submit the notes to Jaitley for scrutiny and then walked up to him to explain to him the difference. He, however, did not leave the notes with the Finance Minister.
Jaitley said there is no provision in the rules that anyone could "flash any paper and say it is a point of order."
"There is a misuse of zero hour which is going on," he said, adding that the Congress first raised the issue of provision for None-Of-The-Above (NOTA) in the ballot for Rajya Sabha poll but then discovered that the provision had been made during their rule.
"You have been raising frivolous issues in the Zero Hour without giving notice" with a view to disrupting and not get replies, he said but did not reply to the opposition contentions on different sized notes.
Raising the issue through a point of order, Kapil Sibal (Cong) said different sizes of the new high denomination currency was being printed - "one for the ruling party (members) and one for the others".
The leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad (Cong) said: "this is the biggest scam of this century."
As Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi countered, Azad said two types of notes are being printed.
"The government has no right to remain in office for even five minutes," he said.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said even if there are two types of notes, it cannot be a point of order. "You raise the issue in a different form."
"It is a serious issue," O'Brien said as he displayed two 500 rupee notes that he said were different in size and design.