M A I N   N E W S

Monsoon Session
Showdown over price rise
n Opposition stalls Parliament n Presses for debate on issue
n No, says Speaker
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 27
Uproar over price rise paralysed Parliament on day two of the monsoon session with an agitated Opposition forcing adjournment of both Houses by pressing for discussion on the issue under motions which entail voting, a move rejected by the Union Government.

The day saw almost the entire Opposition — the BJP, the Left, the BSP, the SP and the RJD — coming togethto raise slogans against price rise in both Houses.

Several parties, including the BJP and the Left, had posted notices seeking adjournment of the Question Hour and as soon as the Chair rejected it, Opposition MPs were up on their feet raising slogans and demanding a debate on the issue. Even UPA allies, the TMC and the DMK, spoke in support of a discussion on the matter.

This led to two brief adjournments of the twin Houses before Speaker Meira Kumar, in the Lok Sabha, and Chairman Hamid Ansari, in the Rajya Sabha, adjourned proceedings for the day.

Soon as the Lok Sabha commenced, SP members trooped into the Well of the House, while Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj sought the Speaker’s ruling on her notice for adjourning the Question Hour.

“The entire Opposition is articulating the suffering of the poor due to fuel price hike. We want to raise it now and ask you to stall all other business, adjourn the Question Hour and to discuss this all-important matter. The SP is in the Well along with the RJD and the BSP. Even UPA allies are worried. They were all part of the Bharat Bandh we organised to oppose price rise,” Swaraj said, articulating the concerns of the entire Opposition.

The Speaker, without giving a ruling, told her, “We can take up this debate later.”

In the Rajya Sabha too, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley steered the anti-price rise protests, seeking Chairman Hamid Ansari’s ruling on their demand for a Division under Rule 168 . Ansari had to eventually adjourn the House for the day amid sloganeering and chaos.

Later, BJP leaders said, “For the time being, there is no going back on our demand.” But they also hinted that a solution to this impasse could be found before the end of this week.

On his part, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal also appeared reconciliatory saying, “We are ready for a discussion on any of the 62 subjects raised by the Opposition under the relevant rules.” 





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