Parliament on Tuesday saw yet another day of washout with an aggressive opposition raking up a fresh demand for Rs 10 lakh compensation to the kin of each of those who died due to problems post demonetisation besides pressing for presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the debate on the issue.
Neither the Rajya Sabha nor the Lok Sabha could transact any business due to continuous uproar and pandemonium, leading to their premature adjournment. This was the fourth straight working day of Parliament to be wasted.
In the Lok Sabha, the opposition, which was joined by AIADMK in targeting the government, continued to press for a debate under a rule which entails voting even as the ruling side vehemently resisted it.
Amid noisy Opposition protests, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar maintained that the government was willing to debate every aspect of the issue.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Trinamool Congress’ Sudip Bandhopadhyay said they wanted a debate but demanded the Prime Minister’s presence.
Due to the uproar, the House was adjourned for the day, just after noon.
In the Rajya Sabha, Opposition parties unitedly stalled proceedings by maintaining that debate on demonetisation cannot be resumed until the Prime Minister is present in the House.
They also raked up a fresh demand that compensation of Rs 10 lakh should be paid to the kin of each of the “70 people” who died due to problems after notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were scrapped.
The rare show of unity in opposition camp saw Congress and TMC coordinating and arch rivals of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh SP and BSP jointly shouting slogans.
The treasury benches countered them by shouting demands for resumption of the debate on the issue.
The House was repeatedly adjourned before the final one at minutes past 3 PM.
No sooner were the listed papers laid on the table at the start of the day’s proceedings, Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said the government should pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to kin of the 70 people who lost their lives due to hardships caused by withdrawal of 500 and 1000 rupee notes.
Naresh Agarwal (SP) and Mayawati (BSP) said Modi should be called before starting discussion on the demonetisation.
“He should come and listen to the pain people have faced because of his decision,” Mayawati said.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad (Cong) said the opposition is ready for discussion on the issue but Prime Minister should come to the House first.
As he spoke, members of the BJP moved into the aisles raising slogans.
At this point, TMC members carrying placards of “Financial Emergency” trooped into the Well, with Congress members following suit.
As opposition members shouted slogans from the Well, Kurien said, “You cannot speak in the Well. Shouting in the Well is of no use. If you go back to your seats, I will give you time (to speak).”
He told Azad that he was ready to accept his notice under Rule 267 seeking suspension of business if only there is order in the House.
As BJP members also created a ruckus, an angry Kurien said, “Why should treasury benches do this? Mr Minister, why should treasury benches to this?” He was addressing Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Terming the ruckus as “blatant indiscipline”, he said, “Both sides do not want discussion. Not only the opposition but treasury benches are also disrupting the proceedings. That is very unfortunate.” He then adjourned it till 11.30 AM.