Logjam in Lok Sabha over demonetisation debate continues
The logjam in Lok Sabha over initiating a debate on demonetisation continued for third consecutive week with the discussion being listed in today's agenda under a rule which does not entail voting and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejecting the Opposition demand for it to be held under a rule that entails voting.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said the Opposition was ready to initiate the debate under Rule 184 instead of their original demand for it to be held under Rule 56, and the government must now agree to it.
"We have come down from Rule 56 to Rule 184. Now the government should also come down from Rule 193 and agree to Rule 184," he said.
The government has been maintaining that it was ready for a debate on demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes under Rule 193 that does not entail voting.
Kharge was strongly supported by TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay, who said the treasury benches should not put pressurise the Opposition by sticking to a particular point.
"Kindly don't put pressure. You have brute majority in the House. But you are avoiding voting, we don't know why," he said.
CPI(M) MP P Karunakaran also supported Kharge and Bandopadhyay and wanted the debate to be held under Rule 184.
However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said that Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) had given notice to hold the debate under Rule 193 and their wish should also be respected.
"Please don't take it as a prestige issue. Let's all start the debate. Let all parties come together to fight against the blackmoney," he said.
Kumar said they were ready for suspension of Question Hour and initiate debate if the opposition agreed to Rule 193.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia countered Kumar and said the opposition too was against blackmoney and terrorism and ready to start debate under Rule 184.
The Speaker said she was ready to start the debate right away if the House agreed. The debate has been listed in today's list of business under Rule 193.