New Delhi: Congress on Monday staged a walkout from Lok Sabha complaining "lack of business" and said debate on several major issues sought by it was getting a back seat with only matters raised by the government given priority.
Congress members, including senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge, raised the demand as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed MoS Finance Nirmala Sitharaman to introduce the Sebi amendment Bill and converted a calling attention motion on the spread of Encephalitis in different parts of the country into a special discussion.
"What is the business before the House...The House does not know what business is to be conducted this week...We do not know what subject to speak on...It creates difficulties," Kharge said apparently referring to the inclusion of Sebi Bill in the supplementary list of business.
As BJP member Yogi Adityanath rose on the calling attention on encephalitis, Kharge said more time was being allotted to special discussions, whereas the debate on the general budget was held only for two days.
He said that on many occasions Cabinet Ministers were also not present in the House, "But we still cooperate...The House gets adjourned for lack of quorum... Only government business is accorded priority."
As Kharge spoke, Congress members were on their feet raising slogans - "Business lao, House chalao (bring business, run the House)".
Amidst the din, Speaker said, "If you have any one issue, I can reply...The drought issue was brought up by you and was taken up for discussion...Calling attention is an important issue that is why it is taken up."
When Health Minister Harsh Vardhan started replying to the calling attention motion, the Speaker asked him to lay the statement as Congress members continuing to raise slogans.
As Adityanath demanded that the debate on the spread of encephalitis in Eastern UP and other parts of the country be taken up for short duration discussion under Rule 193, Mahajan sought the view of the House and converted the debate into a special discussion.
To this Kharge, said "What is the business of the House? Government has no business at all" and all Congress members staged a walkout.
During Zero Hour too, several Congress members were in the aisle seeking to know what business will the government transact in the House this week.