Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day over demonetisation

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New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday was adjourned for the day without conducting any meaningful business amid chaos and logjam over demonetisation.

The house had already witnessed two quick adjournments before the lunch break and finally got adjourned for the day soon after it re-assembled post lunch.

The house was first adjourned amid chaos minutes after it met at 11 a.m.

After it re-assembled, Leader of Opposition Gulam Nabi Azad said over 80 people have died ever since demonetisation was introduced on November 8.

“I want to ask, who is responsible for these deaths,” Azad said, adding that accountability should be fixed for those deaths.

The demonetisation scheme was brought without any preparation, he said.

Naresh Agarwal of the Samajwadi Party also criticised the government for “paralysing the country”.

Expressing similar views, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked for 50 days to fix the problems arising from the demonetisation decision, but nothing seems to be changing.

Reacting to Mayawati’s remarks, members from the treasury benches created ruckus in the house.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked the members to maintain silence.

Replying to the charges, Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the opposition is running away from the debate on the issue.

“The issue is important and that’s why the debate (on it) should be completed,” he said.

The ruling alliance members then started shouting slogans against the opposition, saying “If you have guts, let the debate take place”.

As the house re-assembled at noon, Chairman Hamid Ansari requested members to start proceedings of the Question Hour, but the members from the ruling grouping again shouted slogans against the opposition.

Allegations and counter-allegations were levelled from both sides, resulting in ruckus.

Ansari then adjourned the house until 2 p.m.

As the house met post-lunch, Pramod Tiwari of the Congress, raising a point of order, said that the government has failed to provide any relief to general public after demonetisation and that the Council of Ministers should be “disqualified”.

Reacting to it, the Deputy Chairman laughingly said he does not have the power to do so and if Tiwari still wants him to disqualify the ministers, then Tiwari should arrange for him the power required.

“This is not point of order. This is a point of disorder,” Kurien said, asking him to sit down.

ADMK’s Trichy Siva demanded presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he should come to the house to listen to the debate on demonetisation.

Kurien then said that there is no such rule and appealed to the members to resume the debate.

K. Keshava Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi also raised the same point and said it is not about demonetisation, it is about its fallout.

“Various ministries are involved (as far as the debate on demonetisation is concerned), so the Prime Minister should be here. To whom would we address?” he said.

Anand Sharma of the Congress said that it is wrong to give impression that the opposition does not want debate on the issue.

“But Prime Minister must answer our questions,” he said.

Jaitley refuted the point, saying the government works on collective basis and if a minister speaks on something, it is the government making statement on the issue.

On this, members from both sides shouted at one another and the house was adjourned for the day amid the din.

There has been no meaningful business transaction in the Rajya Sabha ever since the winter session of Parliament began on November 16.

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