New Delhi, November 27
With the impasse between the Government and the Opposition on the issue of demonetisation of old currency notes persisting, the third week of Winter session of Parliament is headed for a washout. The second week of Parliament was a washout with the Opposition disrupting both Houses of Parliament over its demand for the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the debate on Demonetisation.
Though the PM made an appearance in the Rajya Sabha on November 24 during the Question hour, which started the debate in the Upper House, but the truce between the Government and the Opposition on the issue proved to be a short lived with the PM’s absence during the post lunch session leading to the protests by the Opposition.The opposition insisted that the PM should be present in the House throughout the debate. “The PM should come to parliament. He has the time to attend a pop concert but not Parliament,”Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi told reporters earlier in the week. The Congress has said that they want the PM to participate in the debate and listen to what the members have to say on the issue. ” It was the PM who masterminded the scheme for demonetisaiton. Therefore, it is incumbent on him that he be present in the house through the debate,”Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said. The Governrment , however, said that the demand is unjustified as it is not possible for the PM to be present in the House all through the debate. Finance minister Arun Jaitley said he had assured the opposition that the PM would intervene in the debate. He charged the Opposition of running away from the debate.
The last day of the second week on Friday too did not see any debate or discussion in the Rajya Sabha with the opposition persisting with its demand for the PM’s presence in the house during the debate. The Opposition also protested over the PM’s remarks at a function wherein he sought to link Opposition parties with black money. Responding to the charges by the Opposition that the demonetisation was announced by the government without any preparation, leading to ‘economic chaos across the country- huge queues in banks and before ATMs- which caused a lot of hardship to the common man across the country. The PM said that some people were unhappy with demonetisation as it did not leave them with any preparation.
The Opposition has also demanded that the house should pay obituary to the several people who have died across the country due to demonetisation. They are also demanding the constitution of a Joint Parliamentary committee to probe the reports that some BJP leaders were informed in advance about the decision to demonetise old currency notes, thus helping them to get rid of their Black money.
In a bud to intensify its attack on the government on the issue, the Opposition has announced observance of a ‘Jan Aakrosh divas’ tomorrow to protest the demonetisation policy which, they say, has led to economic chaos and financial emergency in the country.
As part of the ‘Jan Aakrosh Divas’ various Opposition parties have planned protest marches across the country to protest the move by the Govenrment. In Delhi, the Congress has planned a ‘Jan Aakrosh March’ from Mandi house till Parliament house to protest demonetisation.
On its part, the Governrment has said that demonetisaiton is a move that is a beneficial move for the common man as it will help to tackle the menace of Black money within the country and the counterfeit notes.
With both the sides sticking to their respective stands and refusing to budget from their position, there is a likelihood of the third week of Parliament being a washout like the previous week.
New Delhi, November 27