M A I N   N E W S

Stormy start to govt’s first Budget session 
Opposition stalls LS, stages walkout in RS over price rise
Govt blames UPA for financial mess

KV Prasad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 7
The BJP-led NDA government today encountered turbulence on the opening day of its first full session of Parliament, coming under intense attack on price rise, a situation it explained as an inheritance from the previous UPA government.

As the six-week Budget session of Parliament began today, the Congress, despite its limited presence in the Lok Sabha, exerted pressure by vociferously raising the issue of price rise in the House.

The House, for the first time, saw Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi standing in the aisle as his colleagues moved further towards the Well of the House raising slogans.

Adding to the discomfort of the government, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today said the party was entitled to get the Leader of the Opposition position amid reports that members of the Congress and allies would make a representation on the issue be decided even as the government declared it was for Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to do so.

Matching the party's aggressive posture in the Lok Sabha through notices for an adjournment motion, the Delhi unit of the Congress led by Arvinder Singh Lovely staged a noisy demonstration on price rise outside.

The decision of the Speaker rejecting the notice notwithstanding, Congress Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh insistence for a debate under rules that entail voting led to stalling of proceedings and eventual adjournment for the day.

The government agreed to an impromptu discussion on inflation in the Rajya Sabha where Finance Minister Arun Jaitley maintained that prices of food items remained under control and saw no reason for panic. The Opposition staged a walkout expressing dissatisfaction over the response of the government which held the UPA government responsible for the financial situation.

During discussion, members from the Opposition took turns to pour scorn over the BJP's election theme of `Acche Din'' (good days) interpreting whether it translated into high prices of onions and potatoes and raise in rail fares.

The stormy start to the session came soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu met 45 leaders of all 30 parties in Parliament at a breakfast. On his part, Naidu expressed willingness of the government for a discussion on any issue "in the larger public interest within functional norms of both the Houses of Parliament".

Prices of food items are under control: Govt

Prices of food items are under control and there is no need for panic, the government declared on Monday in the Rajya Sabha. During a discussion on inflation in the Upper House, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (pic) put the blame for the price rise on the previous UPA government, saying it had inherited it as a 'legacy'. "The government is committed to containing inflation because we consider it a serious and sensitive matter. There is sufficient supply of potato and onion and therefore there is no reason for panic," the Finance Minister said.

Cong entitled to Leader of Oppn post: Sonia

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi (pic) on Monday said her party was the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha and hence was entitled for the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Lower House. The Congress has 44 members in the House. "We are the single largest party and we have a pre-poll alliance. Hence, we are entitled to get the post of Leader of the Opposition in LS," Sonia said. 





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