Amid opposition attack over currency ban, PM Narendra Modi likely to attend demonetisation debate in Rajya Sabha today

As a united Opposition continues to put pressure on the BJP-led NDA government to withdraw its decision to ban high-value old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the ongoing debate on the demonetisation in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Updated: Nov 24, 2016, 08:36 AM IST
Amid opposition attack over currency ban, PM Narendra Modi likely to attend demonetisation debate in Rajya Sabha today

Delhi: As a united Opposition continues to put pressure on the BJP-led NDA government to withdraw its decision to ban high-value old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the ongoing debate on the demonetisation in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

An indication in this regard was given by senior BJP leader and Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, according to IndiaToday. 

The Opposition has been demanding PM Modi's presence and participation in the debate on demonetisation.

In the ongoing Winter Session, Thursday is earmarked for Prime Minister's Office. Any senior representative can reply to queries on behalf of the Prime Minister on this day.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha witnessed a virtual washout for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday as government and Opposition parties continued to clash over the demonetisation issue and the rule under which a debate should take place on it, with the former ruling out any provision of voting in the discussion.

Opposition members, including those from Congress, TMC, RJD, CPI(M) and BJD, besides SAD and Shiv Sena, both part of the ruling NDA, expressed their views in the House when it assembled at noon after one adjournment, with the Sena changing its stance on demonetisation and sparing the government of embarrassment by praising the move and supporting its stand that the debate be held under Rule 193, which does not entail voting.

Sena had been critical of the demonetisation move and its members even joined a TMC-led protest march to the President last week, but softened their stand after a meeting with the PM yesterday.

PM Modi was present in the House briefly during Question Hour, during which only one question could be taken up amid the Opposition's din which led to the first adjournment.

On the other hand, the government yesterday reached out to the Opposition with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar holding talks with Congress and TMC leaders.

Kumar and some other leaders in the government will continue deliberations with floor leaders of various political parties today.

Kumar added that he has requested political parties to see the "writing on the wall" and start discussion on the issue.

"I requested them that they can themselves see that public is in favour of this move. Rather than holding up the proceedings, it should be allowed to run smoothly," he added.

(With Agency inputs)