Adjournments mar session; govt. concedes discussion in RS

The opening day of Parliament’s budget session got off to a stormy start on Monday with Opposition MPs storming the well of both Houses protesting against a range of issues, including increase in prices of petroleum products and essential commodities, rail fare hike and the ordinance relating to the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Bill, the last one raised by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

Matters were sorted out smoothly in the Rajya Sabha with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley immediately conceding a discussion on price rise, but in the Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the government was willing to debate the issue only under Rule 193 that doesn’t entail a vote. The Opposition however, demanded an adjournment motion under Rule 56. As a result, while the Rajya Sabha had a discussion, the Lok Sabha was repeatedly adjourned, finally winding up at 2.10 p.m.

In the Upper House, the Opposition, including the Congress, CPI(M), BSP and the SP, staged a walkout expressing dissatisfaction with Mr. Jaitley’s explanation.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned soon after it convened at 11 a.m. due to the protest. Post lunch, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed a discussion under Rule 193, which the Congress turned down. The Speaker then called it a day.

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