New Delhi: For the eighth straight day, Opposition stalled Parliament over demonetisation on Monday, even as the government sought to break the logjam by promising that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak on the issue if a debate takes place.
Functioning of both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha was disrupted, leading to their premature adjournment for the day.
Rajya Sabha saw three adjournments between 11am and 2pm, before the final adjournment for the day. Lok Sabha was adjourned twice before being adjourned till Tuesday at 2.10pm.
In the Lok Sabha, a number of Opposition leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress), Sudip Bandhopadhyay (Trinamool Congress) and Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), pressed for acceptance of their demand for an Adjournment Motion and debate under a rule that entails voting. They also demanded presence of the prime minister during the debate.
In response, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the prime minister will speak on demonetisation if the Opposition wanted but the debate should take place, for which the rule will be decided by the Speaker.
Singh said it was clear that nobody was questioning the government’s intentions over demonetisation or imputing any mala fide.
Even as he was speaking, opposition members trooped into the Well and shouted slogans.
Amid the din, Singh said the government is ready for a discussion and willing to listen to the complaints and suggestions different parties have over the execution of the demonetisation move.
“As far as the prime minister’s coming to the House is concerned, if the Opposition wants he will come and intervene,” Singh said, assuring the Opposition.
The decision regarding the rule under which the debate should take place is for the Speaker to make, he said.
He termed demonetisation as a “historic, bold and pro- poor” decision taken to target black money and in national interest.
However, as the uproar continued, Speaker adjourned the House till 2pm.
Earlier, Kharge said demonetisation had harmed the economic system, the farmers, youths, labourers and women among others who are in distress.
The Congress leader said more than 70 people have died due to the faulty implementation of demonetisation decision.
He cited the incident of a Union Minister facing difficulty in paying hospital bills after his brother died and said it was an evidence of the extent of the crisis. He was referring to Sadanand Gowda who faced the problem.
“There is only one way to break this deadlock. The prime minister should come to the House and the opposition’s adjournment motion should be accepted,” he said.
Bandhopadhyay of Trinamool said the government must take initiative to break the impasse as people will ask what does Parliament stand for, if it is adjourned everyday. Supporting Kharge, Mulayam Singh said if Modi does not come to the House on such an important matter, then when he will come. Farmers are facing a lot of problems, he said.
Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav (RJD) called the decision impractical and anti-people.