Sugarcane issue: Parliament adjourned till Monday
New Delhi: Work in both houses of Parliament stalled for the second consecutive day Friday with opposition members stirring up a massive row over sugarcane prices and demanding a better deal for farmers.
As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled, members of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Samajwadi Party (SP), Biju Janata Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gathered near Speaker Meira Kumar's podium shouting anti-government slogans. The Speaker adjourned the house till 12 noon.
When the din continued after the house met, she adjourned the house till Monday. Parliament will not meet Saturday.
BJP MP Varun Gandhi and RLD's Jayant Singh led the opposition leaders in the Lok Sabha in the charge towards the Speaker's podium. Though Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and Left parties supported the agitation, their members did not join them.
Amidst the uproar, the speaker called on ministers to make statements but the opposition did not allow proceedings to continue.
"Kala kanoon vapas lo!" the MPs kept shouting, referring to the ordinance. Despite pleadings from the speaker, they refused to take their seats, forcing her to adjourn the Lok Sabha till Monday.
The scene was similar in the Upper House, Rajya Sabha. Trouble began immediately after the house assembled with SP MPs raising slogans against the government.
The house adjourned till 12 noon. But the situation was no better when the house reassembled and chairman Hamid Ansari adjourning the session for the day to meet at 11 am on Monday.
Thousands of sugarcane farmers had gathered in the Indian capital Thursday to protest a Rs.35 per quintal drop in price they get for their crop after an Oct 21 government ordinance.
Private member bills that were scheduled to move in Lok Sabha Friday will not take place.
The central government has announced Rs.129.85 per quintal for sugarcane during the 2009-10 crushing season under the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) system, while the Uttar Pradesh State Advisory Price (SAP) has been set between Rs.165 and Rs.170 per quintal.
In case a state government fixes SAP higher than the FRP, it will have to pay the difference.
Farmers want Rs.280 per quintal for their produce.