New Delhi, (IANS) Opposition parties, including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, created pandemonium in the Lok Sabha on Monday over the demonetisation of high-value currency notes, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House twice in the pre-noon session and then finally for the day.
Soon after the House met at 2 p.m. after two adjournments, the Congress members rushed towards the Speaker’s podium demanding a discussion on the demonetisation issue. The Congress members were seen asking the chair to allow their leader Mallikarjun Kharge to speak.
But Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai adjourned the House for the day.
Earlier, when the House met in the morning, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan was joined by the entire House in condoling the deaths in Sunday’s train tragedy near Kanpur, in Uttar Pradesh.
Soon after, Trinamool Congress (TMC) member Sudip Bandopadhyay urged the Speaker to allow an adjournment motion for discussion on the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 bank notes, announced by the government on November 8 — but she did not allow it.
The TMC and Congress members then rushed towards the Speaker’s podium and began shouting slogans against the government.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.N. Ananth Kumar requested the agitated members to allow the House to run, but they did not relent.
Kumar said the government is ready for debate on any issue, including the “inconveniences” caused to the people due to the recent demonetisation move of the government.
“Let there be a debate. We in the government are ready to reply to all your queries,” Kumar told the slogan-shouting members.
He also said that the “people are in favour” of the government’s decision to ban high-denomination currency notes and firm against black money.
The Speaker also urged the agitating members to allow the Question Hour to proceed.
But the Congress and TMC members continued with their protest.
Speaker Mahajan then said: “If you want yourself to be seen on TV, I will ask Lok Sabha TV to do so. People of the country will also see you.”
Mahajan’s remarks were sharply countered by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
“We are not born to be seen on TV. The situation is worrisome. People are dying. We are not shying away from discussion. In fact, the Prime Minister is shying away from discussion,” Kharge said.
However, the Speaker continued with Question Hour amid the ruckus.
As the Question Hour was going on, Opposition members shouted slogans like “Gali Gali me shor hai, Modi sarkar chor hai” (people are saying the Modi government is corrupt), and “Kisan mar raha hai aur Modi sarkar so rahi hai” (farmers are dying and Modi government is sleeping).
The TMC members were holding black placards with “Economic Emergency” written on them.
The Speaker initially adjourned the House for 10 minutes till noon.
When the House reassembled at noon, the TMC members again rushed towards the Speaker’s podium and re-started shouting slogans.
Amid the ruckus, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu read out a statement on Sunday’s train derailment near Kanpur.
“You are not even ready to hear a statement on the train accident,” Mahajan remarked and adjourned the House till 2 p.m.