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IndiaOppn’s disruption in RS over demonetization continues

Oppn’s disruption in RS over demonetization continues


Oppn's disruption in RS over demonetization continues

New Delhi, Dec 5 (PTI) Opposition parties today continued their tirade against government in Rajya Sabha over the woes of employees and the pensioners due to the cash crunch following demonetisation, as vociferous protests forced the wash out of the first half of the day's proceedings.

Congress, BSP, SP and TMC members trooped into the Well of the House raising slogans demanding the government's reply on the problems faced by employees and pensioners, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the proceedings till noon and again till 1400 hours as similar scenes continued.

Soon after the Upper House mourned the death of two of its former members and the listed papers were laid, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “The government employees and pensioners are not getting their salaries. I want to know from the goverment if there is a financial emergency.”

He said there is no cash in ATMs located even in the Parliament complex. “When we are not getting money from ATMs in Parliament, how do we expect it outside? It seems there is a financial emergency.”

Stating that it is a serious issue, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien called members to resume the discussion on demonetisation that had began on November 16.

“I am agreeing that you are raising a important and serious issue. It is for the government to reply. You start discussion. If all of you shout, what is the benefit? The only remedy is discussion,” he said.

But unrelenting Opposition members trooped into the Well raising slogans — “Logon ka paisa, logon ko do (give the money that belongs to people)”, “Hosh mein aao, Hosh mein aao, Pradhan Mantri House mein aao (Come to your senses, PM come to the House).”

As protesting members started shouting at high pitch, Kurien said: “You want a solution to the problem, then go back and raise the issue. Then the government will reply. This is not the way. There is anarchy in the House. I am not going to adjourn. Slogan shouting is no solution. You will get certain headlines in newspapers and nothing more. I will not adjourn.”

The Treasury benches countered the Opposition shouting “We want discussion, We want discussion.”

As the Opposition members refused to heed to the Chair's repeated pleas to return to their seat, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu suggested the Chair to take up the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014.

Opposition members did not heed to this, even as Naresh Agarwal (SP) said that the entire nation has been crippled due to demonetisation. As the protests continued, the House was adjourned till 1200 hours. When the House met at noon, members were on their feet raising uproar.

While Chairman Hamid Ansari called for taking up the Question Hour, his pleas did not evoke any response as members kept speaking out of turn.

“It is your Question Hour,” he said as Opposition members shouted “No”.

With Anand Sharma (Cong), Naresh Agrawal (SP), Derek O'Brien (TMC), Satish Misra (BSP) and Tapan Kumar Sen (CPI-M) speaking at the same time, no one could be heard.

Incidentally, the microphones of Opposition leaders speaking were put off and only that of the Chairman and the member raising the question were working.

As pandemonium prevailed in the House, Ansari said, “Nobody is being heard.”

Meanwhile, Congress, TMC members and those of some other Opposition parties were standing in the aisles raising slogans and demanding the presence of the Prime Minister in the House for the demonetisation debate to resume.

As uproar continued, the Chairman adjourned the House till 1400 hours.

When the House reassembled at 1400 hours, Naresh Agarwal (SP) said he went to Air office where he was surrounded by employees to complain that they have not been paid salaries.

“An explosive situation has developed,” he said raising the issue of government employees not being paid salaries following demonetisation of old high denomination currency last month.

In the meantime, several Opposition members were up on their feet speaking all at go.

Congress members were heard shouting slogans like ‘Janta Ka Paisa Janta Ko Do'.

Amid din, Deputy Chairman Kurien permitted Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot to move ‘The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014' for passage.

Kurien sought cooperation from the protesting members for passage of the bill saying it is a “non-controversial” legislation and should be approved. The Bill could not be passed amid the din.

“You honourable members, you are shouting. You should not do so,” Kurien said in another bid to restore order in the House as Congress members raised full-throated slogans from Well of the House.

Members from treasury benches insisted for passage of the bill moved by Gehlot and continuation of the debate on demonetisation.

Kurien also warned Sasikala Pushpa, expelled from AIADMK, for carrying a placard with message ‘Save Our Amma'.

Referring to the non-payment of salaries to employees, Anand Sharma (Cong) said “over the weekend, the sitation has worsened”. He said a large number of people have lost following government's “disastrous mismanagement” of demonetisation and asked the Centre to “rectify” the “suffering inflicted” by the government on the people.

Sharma also stressed that members were in favour passage of the Disabilities Bill, but added “when the House is not in order, the Bill cannot be passed”. Sharma also alleged that ruling party members were creating disturbances in the House.

Bhupinder Singh (BJP) raked up issues relating to 2G and coal scams, as he asked the Congress members to continue the debate on demonetisation.

Agarwal (SP) said the Opposition has said they would cooperate in government work but the government has made the entire country “disabled” as the people were facing problems due to demonetisation.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi objected to a word used by Agarwal, which the Chair later expunged.

As Tapan Sen (CPI-M) tried to raise his point, Kurien said “you are raising a valid point, why don't you raise it in an order”.

Referring to non-payemnt of salaries to employees, Rajiv Shukla (Cong) said if the situation was not so, Minister Arun Jaitley, who was in the House, should have refuted it.

Another senior Congress MP Satish Sharma wondered whether the government has become “bankrupt” as it was not paying salaries to employees.

Kurien said the disability bill cannot be passed amid din and adjourned the House for the day, as the noisy protests continued.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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