Pawar takes backseat as opposition demands adjournment motion on price rise

July 28th, 2010 - 3:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Wednesday took a backseat as MPs debated whether the Lok Sabha should allow adjournment motions, which entail voting, moved by the opposition over the rising food prices.
Pawar, whose ministry has a major role to play in arresting the rising prices, was not present in the first leg of the debate that began soon after the house proceedings started at 11 a.m.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief, who generally sits next to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the front row of the treasury benches, came in towards the conclusion of the debate and stopped at the door for a while to watch the proceedings. He later occupied a back seat.

At the end of the debate, Pawar moved to second row of the treasury benches, leaving his customary seat vacant.

When parliament had debated the same issue earlier, the opposition had targeted Pawar for the rising prices of essential commodities. The Congress had also indicated that the agriculture ministry was majorly responsible for the price rise.

This had prompted the NCP to state that it was the entire government that was responsible for the price rise and not just the agriculture ministry.

Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee were also not present in the house as the entire opposition cornered the government, demanding an adjournment motion over the price rise and the fuel price hike.

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