New Delhi, December 5
An unrelenting Opposition today continued to disrupt the proceedings of the Lok Sabha forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the House for lunch break as there was no let up from the impasse between the government and the opposition under which rule the debate on demonetisation should take place. The members from Treasury benches were often seen arguing with vocal Opposition members like Kalyan Banerjee of Trinamool Congress after Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government was always ready for the debate “under any rule or under no rule”. The Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge urged the Speaker to consider the notice of his party for the debate under Rule 184 that entails voting and asserted that no message should go from the House that the Opposition parties were not in favour of the debate on the currency ban and its implementation. “We had demanded for debate under Rule 56 but now we are ready even under Rule 184,” he said. He was soon supported by All India Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who said the Congress party had given the notice “in consultation with Trinamool” and hence the Chair should allow the debate under a rule that entails voting.
AP Jithender Reddy of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), however, said his party has given a notice for discussion on the currency ban under Rule 193 that did not entail voting. “No opposition party has questioned the intention of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in curbing black money,” Mr Reddy said amid thumping of desks by the ruling BJP members. He said the need for a debate on the note ban and its implication has become “imperative” as people are suffering due to lapses in the implementation. “Even in Hyderabad there have been reports of bankers being assaulted. Things are turning serious,” he said. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav also complained about the manner ‘note ban’ was enforced all of a sudden from November 8 mid-night.
The senior parliamentarian’s remark that – “You could have at least consulted the floor leaders of the political parties here” – evoked laughter in the House.
Rajnath Singh, who is also leader of the House, said the government had no difficulties to start the debate immediately. “I am most grateful to the political parties because no one is questioning the intent of our government,” the Home Minister said adding he was aware of the people’s grievances on the implementation.
“We are ready for debate and whatever lapses in the implementation would be pointed out by the opposition members, I assure the government will do its best to take the corrective steps,” he said.
Mr Singh insisted that the decision of the Prime Minister to ban the high denomination notes was in “national interest”. “It is an assault on parallel economy and also on terror elements and the Naxal movement,” the Home Minister said. However, the Opposition remained defiant with members from Congress, Left and Trinamool insisting that the debate should take place strictly under a rule that entails voting.
The Speaker said, she appreciated the unanimity in the spirit of members from both sides that they wanted debate and wanted to highlight the inconveniences faced by the common people post demonetisation. “I only find the difference is over which Rule the debate should happen. The choice is yours, please start the debate now,” she said adding, “I am allowing you to commence the debate even without any rule”.
But the Opposition members did not concede to the request of the chair and the Trinamool members and others immediately rushed to the Well.
The Speaker allowed taking up of Zero Hour for sometime when members, including from the BJP, the Biju Janata Dal and the TDP, raised issues of public importance. As the Chair’s repeated plea did not convince Opposition members, the Speaker adjourned the House for lunch break before time.
New Delhi, December 5