Protests over missing coal files and petrol price hike cast shadow over the debate on the pension bill in Lok Sabha on Wednesday with the government pressing hard for its passage with just two days remaining for the monsoon session to conclude.
Even as BJP members stormed the well demanding the Prime Minister's resignation over missing coal block allocation files, speaker Meira Kumar took up the consideration of the controversial measure.
Participating in the debate, Shailendra Kumar, whose Samajwadi Party is a key outside supporter, opposed the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 2011, which provides for establishment of an authority to promote old age income security by developing pension funds, among other things.
As Kumar opposed the measure saying there was no provision to provide assured returns to the employees, ministers Kamal Nath and Kapil Sibal approached SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav apparently to seek his party's backing to the bill, which the Left parties staunchly opposed.
The SP member, along with those from Trinamool Congress, DMK and the Left parties, opposed the measure on several counts, especially on putting the "social security moneys" in the volatile stock market and allowing FDI to manage these "hard-earned" funds.
Sougata Roy (TMC) wanted the chair to ensure that the bill, which would affect lives of millions of people, should not be passed in a hurry and in din over missing coal ministry files and hike in petroleum prices.
Interestingly, Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) called back the protesting Left members from the well as Roy was speaking to oppose the bill.