NEW DELHI -- The second day of the winter session of the Parliament started with an uproar in Rajya Sabha where the Bharatiya Janata Party demanded an apology from Congress for the controversial remarks made by Ghulam Nabi Azad in Parliament on Thursday. The Upper House of the Parliament was adjourned twice in the morning and twice again in the afternoon as the uproar continued. It was finally adjourned till Monday. The situation was similar at the lower house of the Parliament where the opposition repeatedly sought an adjournment motion on the demonetisation issue. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan was finally forced to adjourn the house till Monday.
At the Rajya Sabha, as soon as the house met in the morning, members of the BJP raised slogans asking for an apology from Congress for Azad's remarks the previous day, which have already been expunged from record by the Chair. Azad had compared deaths of people standing in bank queues after demonetisation to deaths resulting from terrorist attacks.
In return, Congress MPs rushed to the Well demanding an apology from Prime Minister Modi and the central government for the woes caused to common people after the demonetisation decision. Separately, AIADMK members also raised slogans over the Cauvery water issue.
Even as Deputy Chairman P J Kurien convinced all opposition MPs to return to their seats, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged that Azad's statement had given a message to the country that Congress was sympathetic to terrorism and asked why was it so agitated when the demonetisation drive was only to hurt black money hoarders.
Members of BJP continued to raise slogans, driving Congress MPs back to the Well, leading to adjournments.
Kurien said treasury benches should not create problems for the Chair. "If you do this, what do I do? You should cooperate with me in running the House. Treasury benches should not disrupt," he said.
Despite repeated adjournments, MPs continued to troop into the Well, and all pleas by Chairman Hamid Ansari to run the Question Hour proceedings failed to make any impact on the Congress and other members who were raising slogans.
As the heated exchanges between the Opposition and Treasury bench members continued, Ansari said "allow the Question Hour to run. What are you doing? Please go back to your seats."
After four adjournments, the House was finally adjourned till Monday.
The list of business today included further discussion on demonetisation of currency. Two bills were listed for consideration and passing--the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 and the Employee's Compensation (Amendment) Bill 2016, which was to be followed by Private Members' Business.
"What are you doing? Please go back to your seats."Hamid Ansari
Pandemonium In The Lok Sabha
Meanwhile, the Congress demanded an adjournment in Lok Sabha, while the BJP demanded discussion on the issue of demonetisation. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected several notices moved by the opposition leaders for an adjournment motion on the demonetisation issue. Meanwhile, the central government said it was ready for a debate under a rule which does not entail voting and where no formal motion can be moved.
However, Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that the issue of scrapping of ₹1,000 and ₹500 denomination notes should be discussed through an adjournment motion and not the rule being proposed by the government.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government was willing to discuss the issue and there was no need to press for an adjournment motion.
"The government of India is ready for discussion," said Kumar. "Opposition should not run away from the discussion."
"The government of India is ready for discussion."Ananth Kumar
The house was adjourned for an hour till noon at first, and when the house assembled again for Zero Hour, the opposition again pressed for moving an adjournment motion. But the Speaker rejected all the notices. Both Kharge and TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay insisted that the debate be taken up through an adjournment motion.
Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said, "We have said we are ready for discussion, don't know why opposition is creating uproar in the house."
Lok Sabha was finally adjourned till Monday.
(With agency inputs)
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