Parliament adjourned for the day over price rise issue

April 15th, 2008 - 3:32 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
(Second Lead)

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Both houses of parliament were adjourned for the day Tuesday as agitated opposition members disrupted the proceedings by protesting against the rising prices of essential commodities. While the Lok Sabha was adjourned without conducting any business, the newly elected and re-elected Rajya Sabha members took oath before the opposition disrupted the proceedings.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari also announced that former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Jai Narain Prasad Nishad had been disqualified from the house under the anti-defection law.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced the newly inducted ministers - M.S. Gill, V. Narayansamy, Satish Bagrodia, Raghunath Jha, Rameshwar Oraon, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada - in both houses.

The Lok Sabha was first adjourned at 11.10 a.m. after Samajwadi Party MPs entered the well of the house, raising slogans against the government’s failure to curb the rising prices.

Other opposition MPs also expressed solidarity with them, prompting Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to adjourn the house for 20 minutes.

The unruly scenes continued when the house met again at 11.30 a.m., with Chatterjee’s repeated requests to the agitating MPs to allow the house to function falling on deaf ears.

“The matter is already listed for discussion. Make your observations during the debate,” he said.

The MPs, however, did not pay any heed to his requests and Chatterjee then adjourned the house for the day.

In the Rajya Sabha, the first 45 minutes after the house assembled were taken up with the newly elected and re-elected members taking oath.

Thereafter, as Ansari called the question hour, opposition MPs rose from their seats and shouted slogans against the rising prices.

The chairman then adjourned the house for 15 minutes.

When the house resumed at noon, Manmohan Singh introduced the newly inducted ministers. As Ansari called for papers to be laid on the house, the opposition again began shouting slogans, prompting him to remark in exasperation: “Can we please finish the statutory business?”

The house functioned normally for the next 15 minutes, during the course of which Ansari announced that he was accepting a plea from BJP member Sushma Swaraj to disqualify Nishad for quitting the party and campaigning against it during a by-election in Bihar in 2005.

The protests resumed immediately thereafter.

“You have given notice for a short duration discussion. The BAC (business advisory committee) will decide on this,” deputy chairman K. Rahman Khan reminded the opposition MPs but to no avail.

At one stage, Narayansamy, minister of state for parliamentary affairs, addressed Khan but nothing could be heard in the din.

“The government has agreed to a discussion. The government wants to respond,” Khan told the protesting MPs but they held their ground and continued shouting slogans.

Khan then adjourned the house till 11 a.m. Wednesday.

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