Ruckus hit govt agrees to discuss price rise
New Delhi: The Winter Session of Parliament got off to a bumpy start on Tuesday amid a resurgent opposition -forced adjournment of both the houses for the day.
While Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day after making obituary references when it assembled at 11.00 am, Lok Sabha was first adjourned till 12 noon and then for the day as the uproar continued.
However, later in the day the government reached an agreement with the Left parties on holding a discussion on price rise on Wednesday under Rule 168, which entails no voting.
UPA’s crisis manager Pranab Mukherjee reached out to the Left parties at a luncheon meeting.
The CPI (M) will move the motion in the Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday will also discuss Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s claim of inflation coming down to 6-7 per cent by March.
Both Left and the Right parties flayed the finance minister’s claims on inflation.
“The prices are not going to come down and the finance minister's statement has been made to mislead the country,” said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.
"People will not believe in Congress party's bogus assurances," he added.
Senior CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, “The Finance Minister's statement is a piece of paper without any significance and a colossal denial by the government to accept its own failure to control the inflation."
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters that the Lower House would take up the discussion on the statement of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the price situation.
The move is significant given the fact that earlier in the day the Left parties had declared that they are firm on taking up an adjournment motion in Parliament on the issue of price rise.
Bansal said the government would try to reach out to the BJP also so that the discussion on black money could be conducted under a rule that does not entail voting.
BJP already announced its plans to bring an adjournment motion on the issue of black money on Thursday, an issue on which it expects Left's backing.
On Day-1 of Winter Session the government faced the heat of the Opposition on a variety of issues.
As members assembled in the morning, Speaker Meira Kumar made obituary references to ex-members. Newly-elected member Kuldeep Bishnoi of the Haryana Janhit Congress was also sworn in.
Home Minister P Chidambaram was the target of the NDA's ire when he rose to answer the first question of the day on Naxal issue.
The NDA had vowed to boycott Chidambaram in the house till the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh forces him to resign for his alleged links to the 2G spectrum scam.
The Prime Minister backed Chidambaram saying: "There is virtually no case for a boycott of the type that has been talked about in the newspapers."
Chidambaram, on his part, refused a comment on the opposition strategy and silently walked out of parliament house when journalists sought his reaction.
Earlier, in the morning, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to all political parties to let the House function smoothly.
“The government is prepared to discuss all issues which the opposition may want to discuss... We have some very important legislations which will be introduced in this session... There are pressing demands to convert those Bills into Acts of Parliament,” Singh told reporters outside Parliament.
The month-long Winter Session is expected to be stormy with the government and the opposition set to clash over several issues, including price rise and black money.