Rising prices wash away first week of monsoon session (Third Lead)

July 30th, 2010 - 2:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) Opposition parties continued to force the adjournment of both houses of parliament Friday, marking the end of the first week of the monsoon session that has been washed away with no real business conducted due to demands for a discussion on rising prices as an adjournment motion that entails voting.
The stalemate continued for the fourth day Friday with a united opposition adamantly putting forth its demand, forcing two adjournments of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the second one till Monday.

With the government saying it was prepared for a discussion on the price rise issue but not as an adjournment motion and the opposition insistent in its demand, this has meant that parliament has not been able to transact any real business on the four working days of the monsoon session that began Monday.

The proceedings on the opening day were adjourned after obituary references to former MPs who had died in the inter-session period.

Apart from government papers being laid before the second adjournment of both houses on the previous four days, the only business transacted was the approval of president’s rule in Jharkhand.

Twenty-four sittings of the monsoon session were scheduled, of which five have been lost, leaving 19 more.

As the Lok Sabha assembled at 11 a.m. Friday, angry opposition members led by Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj (Bharatiya Janata Party) were on their feet, demanding an adjournment motion on the price rise issue.

“I request you to adjourn the question hour and accept our notice for adjournment as per the rule 184 (which entails voting),” Swaraj told Speaker Meira Kumar.

The speaker rejected the demand and attempted to proceed with the question hour amidst a din.

As Meira Kumar called for the questions listed for the day, many opposition MPs advanced to the speaker’s podium, shouting slogans to press for their demand.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal objected to the opposition’s demand and accused them of “deliberately stalling the house”.

“They are talking about rules and won’t let the house function,” he said.

“Please let question hour proceed,” urged Meira Kumar but protesting MPs didn’t relent, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house till noon.

The din continued when the house reassembled and the speaker asked for papers to be laid, following which she adjourned the house for the day.

The Rajya Sabha was also adjourned on the price rise issue till noon.

As on previous days, the trouble erupted as soon as the house assembled at 11 a.m., with S.S. Ahluwalia of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Manohar Joshi of the Shiv Sena leading the opposition in demanding that question hour be suspended and the house discuss the spiralling food prices.

“Please let question hour proceed,” urged Chairman Hamid Ansari but to no avail. He then called the first question but the MP who had posed it was not present in the house.

Ansari then called the second question but the opposition protests, which were rather muted Friday, continued. He then adjourned the house till 12 noon.

The protests continued when the house re-assembled and Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan asked for papers to be laid on the table. Opposition members advanced to the speaker’s podium as he was reading out the agenda for the coming week, on completing which he adjourned the house for the day.

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