Lok Sabha again failed to transact any business on Monday as the House remained deadlocked over the rule under which a debate on demonetisation should be undertaken. The government said it was ready to listen to suggestions of members regarding deficiencies if any in the implementation of demonetisation so that these could be corrected.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said it should be left to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to take a decision regarding the rule under which the debate should be undertaken.
The Opposition, however, maintained its demand that a debate should be held under Rule 184 which entails voting.
“Why is the 56-inch afraid? Why is government running away from the debate... Don’t be afraid of voting. We want voting”, chanted opposition members.
As Congress and TMC members protested, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said even the Opposition ranks were divided over the rule under which debate should take place. He referred to Reddy of TRS who had given a notice for discussion under Rule 193, which does not entail voting. The Speaker wanted members to take up the debate without any rules and said whether to take up a division of votes on this or not can be decided later.
This was not acceptable to opposition members who again stormed the Well chanting slogans and targeting the Prime Minister.
When the House met for the day, Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue of problems being faced by people due to cash crunch after demonetisation. He said over 100 people have died across the country while standing in queues outside banks and ATMs to withdraw their money.
People are unable to get their salary and pension, said Kharge who was joined by Sudip Bandopadhyay of Trinamool Congress and leaders of some other Opposition parties.
He said his party was not opposed to steps to curb black money and corruption but the implementation of demonetisation was “faulty”, as a result of which people were facing hardship.
He contended that Congress is willing to have a debate unlike the message going out that it is running away from it. 17 Opposition parties have now decided to seek a debate under Rule 184 that also entails voting instead of Rule 56 under which an adjournment motion is taken up, he said.
“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 evoking laughter.
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.
Supporting Kharge, Bando- padhyay said the treasury benches should not put pressure on the Opposition by sticking to a particular point.