New Delhi: A day after President Pranab Mukherjee expressed displeasure over the stalemate in the Parliament, the Opposition parties on Friday agreed to debate the demonetisation issue without a rule that entails voting.
The climb down by the Opposition came after 15 consecutive days of disruption in the Parliament. The Opposition has also been demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi be present in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha when they take up demonetisation for debate.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is expected to lead the Opposition charge in the Lok Sabha. The government has also indicated that PM Modi will speak in the debate.
Yesterday, in a stinging attack on the Opposition over Parliamentary paralysis, President Pranab Mukherjee said the House is not a place for dharna and disruption which amounts to "gagging of majority" by the minority.
He told Parliamentarians that they are meant to discuss and transact business and not to disrupt.
“Disruption is totally unacceptable in Parliamentary system. People send representatives to speak and not to sit on dharna and not to create any trouble on the floor," he said speaking on "Electoral reforms for a stronger democracy" on the occasion of Defence Estates Day Lecture in New Delhi.
Himself a veteran Parliamentarian before he became the President, Mukherjee said, "Disruption means you are hurt, you are gagging majority. Majority never participates in this disruption. Only minority comes to the well, shouts slogans, stops the proceedings and creates a situation in which the Chair has no option but to adjourn the House. This is totally unacceptable".
"For demonstration, you can choose any other places. But for God's sake, do your job. You are meant to transact business. You are meant to devote your time for exercising the authority of members, particularly Lok Sabha members over money and finance," he said.
Maintaining that he is not targeting any single party or individuals, he said the responsibility is of everyone.
With agency innputs