Rajya Sabha adjourned for day amidst demonetisation pandemonium

2000-nNew Delhi, (IANS) After repeated adjournments, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day at 2 p.m. amidst pandemonium by the opposition MPs demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence in the House over the demonetisation issue.

The House saw adjournments in the pre-noon session over the demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes by the government and the travails of the common people due to cash crunch.

While the opposition demanded Prime Minister Modi’s presence in the House, the government accused the opposition of running away from orderly discussion on the issue.

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien told the protesting opposition members that he could not ask Prime Minister Modi to be present during the discussion.

As soon as the Rajya Sabha met at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, the opposition members started raising a ruckus. The chair requested the members to allow the House papers to be laid on the table.

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Sharad Yadav demanded compensation for the families of the people who have died post-demonetisation as a result of shock or exhaustion in long bank queues.

“The government should give Rs 10 lakh compensation to the kin of the people who have died since demonetisation,” Yadav said.

Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati supported Yadav’s stand and also demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence in the House.

Minister of State (MoS) for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi urged the chair to start a discussion on the demonetisation issue and accused the opposition of avoiding a discussion.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We are ready for discussion, but the Prime Minister should come to the House.”

Meanwhile, the opposition members streamed to the Chairman’s podium and started shouting slogans. The Chair adjourned the House for half an hour.

As soon as the House met at 11.30 a.m., the opposition members again started loudly demanding Prime Minister’s presence.

“Pradhan Mantri sadan me aao (Prime Minister come to the House),” they shouted.

Naqvi again asked the Chair to initiate discussion on demonetization.

“When the discussion (on demonetisation) started, there was no logic or facts in their (opposition’s) arguments. They struggled for arguments all through. The discussion should not be in bits and pieces. Please allow a discussion,” Naqvi said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury again demanded Modi’s presence in the upper House.

Azad said the opposition was all for discussion but the Prime Minister should “come here and listen to people’s grievances”.

“If he can give speeches all across the country, what stops him from coming to this House,” Azad said.

The House was then adjourned amidst pandemonium till 12 p.m., later till 12.30 p.m. and then till 2 p.m. The House was adjourned for the day minutes after it met at 2 p.m., but not before Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien made his displeasure with the opposition’s ways clear.

“I am sorry I am not able to run the House in order. This kind of behaviour is to be condemned…I am helpless,’ Kurien said as he adjourned the House for the day

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