Economy

​Currency ban: Lok Sabha disrupted for fifth consecutive day

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 23, 2016

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The Lok Sabha was adjourned yet again on Wednesday — the fifth consecutive day of disruption — after Opposition protests demanding a debate on demonetisation under Rule 56 that entails adjournment of business and division of votes.

Congress MPs carried huge banners inside the Well of the House in the morning in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and were soon joined by other Opposition parties, barring the Biju Janata Dal.

“A national party doing this (carrying banners) is deplorable. We are ready for a full discussion on the fight against black money under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi,” said Parliamentary Affair Minister Ananth Kumar, adding once again that the ruling BJP’s victory in by-elections in Madhya Pradesh and Assam were a mandate in favour of demonetisation.

However, as the din continued, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House during Question Hour.

When the House reassembled again at noon, Opposition members, including those from Congress, TMC, RJD and CPI(M) spoke in favour of an adjournment motion, while Biju Janata Dal suggested a discussion under Rule 184 that doesn’t entail adjournment of business and allows for voting. BJD, however, has demanded a discussion under Rule 193, which is of short duration.

Sena changes tack

The Shiv Sena, an ally of the ruling NDA, which had earlier marched in protest to the President along with the TMC, shifted its stance after a reported meeting with Modi on Tuesday. Anandrao Adsul told the House that his party supported the government’s move to “tackle black money and terror funding” but called for easing the “sufferings” of the common people.

‘Opposition wants discussion’

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said his party was ready for a discussion under Rule 56, which entails voting. “But a message has gone out that the Opposition is not ready for discussion. People are distressed; they are at pain, and we want to discuss their problems. What we want is that the Prime Minister should be present here. You (Speaker) should allow us the adjournment motion,” he said.

Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, Kharge said it is being told outside Parliament that a few people are supporting black money. “But the fact is that the ruling party is supporting black money and not allowing the discussion to take place in the House.”

The TMC’s Sudip Bandhopadhyay wanted to know why the government, which has a “brute majority” in the House, was against voting on the issue. Noting that over 300 Opposition MPs from both Houses had protested in the Parliament complex on Wednesday morning, he urged the Speaker to sit with the government and thrash out a solution.

Courageous decision: SAD

NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal’s Prem Singh Chandu Majra said the government’s ‘courageous’ decision to ban currency and tackle black money was being praised within the country and abroad.

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Published on November 23, 2016
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