Lok Sabha adjourned for the day amid ruckus over demonetisation issue

The opposition led by the Congress and Trinamool Congress continued their demand to discuss the demonetisation issue under a rule which entails voting.

New Delhi: Opposition parties on Wednesday continued their tirade against the government in the Lok Sabha over the demonetisation issue as protests and sloganeering forced Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the house for the day.

The opposition led by the Congress and Trinamool Congress (TMC) continued their demand to discuss the issue under a rule which entails voting. Earlier, both the parties were insistent that the discussion on the issue be held only under Rule 56, that calls for adjournment motion with voting.

Soon after the house met in the morning, the opposition parties, including Congress and Trinamool Congress, demanded that tributes should be paid by the house to the army men killed in the attack at an army base in Nagrota town, 15 km from Jammu.

The Speaker said that the combing operation is still continuing and the government is gathering the details about the incident.

Expressing dissatisfaction, the Congress, TMC, the Left and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), then staged a brief walkout over the issue.

After a few minutes the opposition members returned to the house and trooped near the Speaker`s podium to press their demand for discussion over the demonetisation issue.

Despite the din, Mahajan attempted to conduct the Question Hour, but following repeated disruptions, she adjourned the house till 12 noon.

When the house re-assembled, Leader of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said his party wants discussion on the demonetisation issue as the people are facing hardships.

Kharge also urged the Speaker to start the debate under any rule which entails voting.

TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay also said his party wants discussion under any rule which entails voting.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Bhartruhari Mahatab suggested an immediate discussion on the hardships faced by people because of demonetisation.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitely said the government agreed over Mahtab`s suggestions and was ready for a discussion.

However, the government did not agree to discuss the issue under rules that have the provisions for voting, saying any division of vote over the issue will send a wrong message.

"The government is ready to discuss the issue since November 16. The government wants a discussion on the issue without voting and send a message that the house is united to address the issue of black money," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.

The Speaker also urged the agitating members that they should begin the discussion keeping aside rules.

But the opposition members did not relent and again trooped near the Speaker`s podium and started sloganeering against the government.

When members of the Congress, TMC, Left and others trooped into the well, raising slogans, Mahajan adjourned the house for 10 minutes till 12.45 p.m.

Later, she held a meeting with some opposition leaders in her chamber, but it failed to yield any outcome.

When the house again met after two adjournments, the scene was no different. Mahajan then adjourned the house for the day.

The Lok Sabha has experienced a virtual washout since the session began on November 16 as the government and the opposition have locked horns over the demonetisation issue.

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