Demonetisation issue brings Parliament to a halt

Congress-led Opposition mounts relentless attack on government in RS

Updated - November 18, 2016 10:51 am IST

Published - November 18, 2016 01:14 am IST - New Delhi:

The Opposition and the government clashed over the demonetisation issue on Thursday, bringing both Houses to a halt. The Lok Sabha functioned only for question hour amid a steady uproar, adjourning for the day well before 1 p.m.

The Rajya Sabha, meanwhile, was repeatedly adjourned, as the Congress-led Opposition mounted a sharp and relentless attack on the government. This was in sharp contrast to the peaceful discussion on Wednesday.

In the Upper House, the Opposition made it clear it was not satisfied merely with responses from Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, even as remarks made by Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad about the Uri terror attack in the context of demonetisation forced the final adjournment for the day.

The Lok Sabha witnessed continuous disruptions before being adjourned for the day, with Speaker Sumitra Mahajan turning down the Opposition’s demand for an adjournment motion on the issue.

As soon as the proceedings started, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that the Chair accept the adjournment motion but Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anant Kumar said the government was ready only for a debate under Rule 193.

Neither side yielded, and the Congress and other Opposition MPs continued to shout slogans.

Ms. Mahajan then said Opposition MPs did not seem to want a discussion, and only sought to disrupt the House. Eventually, the House was adjourned till 12.30 p.m.

When the Lok Sabha reassembled, Mr. Kharge again raised the demand for an adjournment motion.

Ms. Mahajan simply said, “I have disallowed the adjournment.” The uproar continued unabated, and the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

In the Rajya Sabha that witnessed a six-hour-long debate on demonetisation on Wednesday, the Opposition had pressed for the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the House and a response from him.

On Thursday, as the discussion continued, the Rajya Sabha was repeatedly adjourned as Opposition MPs rushed into the well.

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