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Updated: April 28, 2010 01:30 IST

Opposition stalls Parliament on price rise

J. Balaji
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Women are in the forefront of the protest against rise in prices of essential goods. A scene in Bikaner. File Photo: PTI
Women are in the forefront of the protest against rise in prices of essential goods. A scene in Bikaner. File Photo: PTI

The 13-member group of non-National Democratic Alliance and non-United Progressive Alliance parties, which organised a nationwide bandh on Tuesday to protest the steep rise in the prices of essential items, petroleum products and fertilizers and the government's failure to check inflation, stalled the proceedings of Parliament on the issue.

The Lok Sabha witnessed at least three adjournments till 6 p.m. before continuing with its regular business. Rashtriya Janata Dal members, led by Lalu Prasad, and Samajwadi Party members, by Mulayam Singh, stormed into the well and shouted anti-government slogans.

In the Rajya Sabha, a similar situation first forced Chairman Hamid Ansari to adjourn the House till noon, and then Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan to adjourn it for the day.

BJP members protested over the IPL controversy and “telephone tapping.”

Amid the din created by the CPI, CPI (M), RSP, Forward Bloc, RJD, SP, AIADMK, TDP and BJD members in the Lower House, Leader of the Opposition, Sushma Swaraj, charged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with insulting Parliament by making a statement to the media, outside the House, rejecting the party's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the bugging of the telephones of leaders, including a Cabinet Minister; and into the IPL issue, in which three Union Ministers were allegedly involved and huge funds diverted.

She said Dr. Singh's conduct was unfair, and he should come to the House and give an explanation. It was the fourth day since the BJP had been seeking a JPC probe into the IPL issue, she said.

The Opposition members carried anti-government and anti-Congress placards in Hindi and English. The AIADMK members carried placards in Tamil. While RJD MP Raguvansh Prasad Singh shouted slogans like ‘Jab, Jab Congress aayee hai, kamartod mehngai layi hai' (whenever the Congress has come to power, it has brought back-breaking inflation), ‘Jo sarkar nikammi hai, woh sarkar badalni hai' (this ineffective government has to be changed), and ‘abhi to yeh angdai hai, aage aur ladai hai' (this is just the beginning, more struggles are on the cards), members of his party and of the other Opposition parties repeated them, forcing Speaker Meira Kumar to first adjourn the House till noon, and then to 2 p.m., and again till 6 p.m., this time by Deputy Speaker Karia Munda.

Earlier, the Opposition parties staged a dharna in the Parliament House portico for about 30 minutes, raising anti-government slogans. Prior to that, Mr. Lalu Prasad and Mr. Mulayam Singh sat before the Mahatma Gandhi statue, along with their party MPs, to protest price rise.

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