Parliament stalemate continues, government, Opposition trade charges

Parliament remained deadlocked for the seventh consecutive day on Tuesday.

Parliament stalemate continues, government, Opposition trade charges
Representational image

New Delhi: Parliament remained deadlocked for the seventh consecutive day on Tuesday as the Opposition parties, NDA constituent TDP and some others stuck to their various demands even as the ruling BJP and main opposition Congress traded charges, accusing each other for the logjam.

The BJP hit out at Congress leadership for the pandemonium, saying they don't have democracy in their genes while the opposition party accused the Narendra Modi government of killing democracy by orchestrating protests to avoid discussion on Nirav Modi and Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

As soon as the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha met for the day, Congress, Trinamool Congress, TDP, YSR Congress and AIADMK members trooped near chair's podium holding placards and raising slogans against the ruling dispensation.

In Lok Sabha, the members from the Congress, the Trinamool and some other opposition parties protested against the banking fraud committed by Nirav Modi and his associates, while the TDP and the YSR Congress demonstrated for special status to Andhra Pradesh.

The AIADMK meanwhile, has demanded a board for the management of the Cauvery river water.

Amid the din, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House till 12 pm, and then later for the day.

The lower house has not transacted any major business, except introduction of two bills on Monday and routine laying of papers since the post-break part of the Budget Session that started on March 5.

The scenes were no different in Rajya Sabha.

As soon as the House reassembled in the afternoon, some TDP and Congress members came near the Chair's podium holding placards.

Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien repeatedly asked the agitating members to go back to their seats, but they did not relent.

Kurien then adjourned the House for the day.

The opposition has been demanding a discussion under adjournment motion on the Rs 12,600 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam and other frauds in various public sector banks.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has rejected the opposition's demand for a discussion under rules which allow suspension of all listed business or entail voting (Rules 267 and 168).

As the House met for the day in the morning, Naidu adjourned it till 2 pm, after his appeal to the members to not display placards etc., or make noise fell on deaf ears.

Earlier in the morning, the BJP parliamentary party met and issued a whip to party MPs to be present in Parliament for the next two days while hitting out at the opposition for "not allowing Parliament to function".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, party chief Amit Shah and veteran leader LK Advani were present at the meeting.

The ruling party also indicated that it will press ahead with the Union Budget-related processes even amid protests.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar hit out at Congress for the parliament impasse.

"It seems (Congress leaders) Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi don't believe in democracy. They speak outside (the house) on democracy but don't practice it in Parliament. The Congress(men) doesn't have democracy in their genes," he said.

He asked other parties to discuss the pending bills constructively.

"We have included all important issues in the list of business. We have also issued a three-line whip to all our MPs. We request all the parties to let the house function and hold constructive discussions," the Minister said.

After both the houses were adjourned early on the day, Congress hit back at BJP.

"All these are government-sponsored agitations that are meant to adjourn the Houses," said Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge referring to the issues raised by TDP and AIADMK.

"They (the government) are finding excuses to avoid discussing the Nirav Modi and PNB scandal," he said.

He said they have been wanting to take up the issue through an adjournment motion since the Parliament began and despite giving daily notice and meeting the Speaker, the government has been rejecting it as it wants to keep it away from public eye.

"It's the job of the Parliamentary Affairs Minister to run the House. Even the Prime Minister has remained silent," he said and added the government is defaming the opposition by blaming them for adjournments.