Oppn protests on note ban in Rajya Sabha continue
Opposition led by Congress and TMC today forced two adjournments in Rajya Sabha over their demand that the House condoles the killing of 25 armymen since the surgical strikes and the death of 82 persons due to post-demonetisation hardships.
Rejecting the government’s offer for discussion on the situation along the border and resuming the debate on demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupee notes, Opposition members trooped into the Well shouting anti-government slogans, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the proceedings till noon.
When the House reassembled at noon, the uproar continued and the Question Hour could not be taken up, forcing Chairman Hamid Ansari to adjourn the proceedings till 1400 hours.
No sooner had the House assembled for the day, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said there should be an obituary reference for the seven army personnel including two officers in terrorist attack at Nagrota armybase near Jammu yesterday as well as for the 82 persons who died because of the “wrong policies of government.”
As other opposition members joined in, Kurien got listed papers laid on the table.
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) said he had given a notice under rule 267 for an obituary resolution to mourn the martyrdom of 25 army personnel since the surgical strikes across the LoC, and the death of 82 people standing in queues io get valid currency after the ban on 500 and 1000 rupee notes. Kurien, however, said the notice is not permitted.
Azad said it was a serious issue if “we are not ready to pay homage” to brave soldiers and those who died because of the “wrong policies” of the government.
Charging government with being insensitive, Mayawati (BSP) said demonetisation was done without preparation and a condolence message has to be brought before the House.
Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government was ready for discussion on both the issues mentioned by the Opposition.
While the discussion on demonetisation should be resumed, the government is ready for a discussion on the situation along the border, he said.
When Sharad Yadav (JD-U) also spoke on the currency issue, Jaitley snapped at him asking him to first discuss demonetisation within his party and decide if it is against the move or for it.
His remark was apparent reference to JD-U Chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar supporting demonetisation.
“We are not against demonetisation. We are against the restrictions that have been placed (on withdrawals from own accounts),” Yadav shot back.
Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) demanded that the government pay compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of all those who lost their lives due to hardship caused by demonetisation.
As the opposition members trooped into the Well, Kurien said the government is ready for discussion on both the issues and they should decide which of the two should be discussed first.
But Opposition members continued to shout slogans like “Sharam Sharam Karo, Narendra Modi Sharam Karo (Shame on you Narendra Modi)”, “Garib Virodhi Yeh Sarkar Nahi Chalegi, Nahi Chalegi (Anti-poor government will not be tolerated)” and “Modi Teri Tanashahi Nahi Chalegi (Modi’s dictatorship will not be tolerated).”
With his pleas going unheeded, Kurien adjourned the proceedings till noon.
When the House met again, Chairman Hamid Ansari called for Question Hour to be taken up, but the Opposition members were again on their feet raising objections.
Soon the members of Congress, TMC, Left, SP, BSP and DMK stood in the aisles and started raising slogans. Later, when they raised slogans of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” the treasury bench members too joined them in shouting the same slogan.
‘Oppn walkout in LS ‘unfortunate’
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar today termed as “unfortunate” the walkout by Opposition in the Lok Sabha over the demand for an obituary reference on those killed in Nagrota terror attack, and said the entire nation pays tributes to the security personnel.
“This is very wrong and unfortunate. When action is till going on, combing operation is going on, walking out from the House by making it an issue is not done,” he told reporters outside Parliament.
“The entire country and the government and all of us, we pay tributes to the soldiers who have attained martyrdom and our hearts reach out to their families. But at the same time when the operations are still on, making it an issue in the House and staging walkout and walking in whenever they (the opposition) feel to disrupt the House is not done,” he said.
Opposition members walked out of the Lok Sabha as their demand for an obituary reference on the soldiers who died in the terror attack on an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir was rejected by the Speaker on the grounds that final details were yet to emerge.
Sharad Yadav, Arun Jaitley exchange barbs in Upper House
JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, whose party leader Nitish Kumar has welcomed demonetisation, today joined the rest of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha in attacking government on hardships arising out of the ban on high denomination currency notes.
Yadav also had a heated exchange of words with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley when the BJP leader needled him to check with his party before criticising the government on the issue.
The incident happened when members of the Congress, TMC, BSP and SP created a ruckus over their demand that the House mourn the killing of 25 armymen since surgical strikes and deaths of 82 persons in post-demonetisation hardships.
Yadav said this has never happened that seven armymen, including two officers, have been martyred at Nagrota army base near Jammu, but there has been no obituary reference.
“You say the demonetisation has been done in national interest, so have the 90 people, old and young, who have lost lives standing in queues (to get new currency),” he said.
At this, Jaitley retorted: “Sharadji, should first discuss within his party to know if it (the party) is in agreement with him or not.”
Yadav replied back that there are no differences. “We are not against demonetisation. We are against the destruction caused by the move.”
He also asked Jaitley why he had not responded to his demand for condolence.
Jaitley said: “If you want discussion (on the issue), let there be discussion.”
Yadav replied back saying first there should be condolence and then went on to ask if Prime Minister Narendra Modi was with him or not.
Prasad slams Rahul for accusing govt of helping black money hoarders
Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi for accusing the government of helping black money hoarders with the amendment to I-T law, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today asked the Congress leader to give such a statement inside Parliament and wondered whether his party is “interested in debate or rules of debate”.
“Rahul Gandhi can say these things inside the House also.Why is he shying away from the debate? Why? If he is more comfortable reading his statement, read that also. But after so many days, today they walked in and they walked out, walked out and walked in.
“Are they interested in the debate or rules of the debate,” he said. Opposition parties, including Congress, are demanding the presence of PM Modi during the entire discussion on demonetisation and have sought a debate under rule 56 which entails voting.
Taking a dig at the demand for discussion under rule 56, Prasad said, “As far as voting part is concerned, there is the country’s mandate... BJP swept in Gujarat, did so well in Maharashtra, Assam and Madhya Pradesh. They lost in Bengal and Tripura....come and have a debate,” he said.