New Delhi: Members of several parties led by
RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday forced adjournment of the Lok
Sabha for two hours protesting against the deferment of the
MPs` pay hike bill by the government.
A day after the Union Cabinet deferred a decision on the
proposed increase, an angry Prasad created uproar in the House
during Zero Hour. He was joined by Mulayam Singh Yadav of
Samajwadi Party and other members of SP, BSP, RJD, JD(U), Shiv
Sena and Trinamool Congress.
Several Congress members were also seen standing in
support of Prasad`s demand for a fair deal to the law makers.
They were gesticulating to BJP members to stand up in support
of the issue and not remain silent spectators.
Left members appeared to have kept themselves aloof from
the issue, as their parties have been historically opposing
any move by Parliament to decide on the salary and allowances
of members and instead have favoured an independent
Speaker Meira Kumar tried to pacify the agitating members
but they were in no mood to listen.
She called BJP member Yogi Adityanath to raise his Zero
Hour issue, but he could not be heard in the din.
MPs currently get Rs 16,000 per month as salary, but the
Parliamentary Affairs Ministry has suggested raising it to
Rs 50,000 as against Rs 80,001 recommended by a Parliamentary
Committee on the grounds that it would be one rupee more than
that of a secretary at Rs 80,001.
The House Committee is led by Congress MP from
Chhattisgarh Charandas Mahant.
Yesterday, the Union Cabinet had deferred a decision on
the bill to raise the salary and allowances of MPs following
division among Ministers.
The proposal to raise salaries and allowances of MPs has
been put off by the Union Cabinet twice in the past.
Besides the base salary, an MP gets a daily allowance of
Rs 1,000 for each day when Parliament is in session or a
sitting of a House committee is scheduled. A member is also
entitled to a constituency allowance of Rs 20,000 per month
and office expense allowance of another Rs 20,000 each month.
Apart from these, they are entitled to a certain number of
air journeys, AC first class train travel and rent-free flat
or hostel accommodation throughout the term.
Soon after the Speaker adjourned the House till 2 PM,
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee went to Prasad and was seen
talking to him and Mulayam.
Yesterday after the Cabinet decision, Prasad had said he
would lead the protest in Lok Sabha. "I am going to be the
Monitor. I will raise the sentiments of MPs in the House
tomorrow," he had said.