Skyrocketing food prices disrupted proceedings in Parliament for the third successive day on Thursday, forcing two adjournments of both Houses, the second one for the day.
Vociferous protests by the Opposition erupted as the two Houses assembled at 11 am. Failing to restore order, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the proceedings till 12 noon. However, with the pandemonium continuing when they reassembled, both houses were adjourned for the day after government papers were tabled.
In the Lok Sabha, angry opposition members led by Sushma Swaraj of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Mulayam Singh of the Samajwadi Party were on their feet as the house assembled at 11 a.m., demanding a discussion on the price rise issue as an adjournment motion that entails voting.
Sushma Swaraj reminded Speaker Meira Kumar of the assurance given by her Wednesday that she would consider discussion under any other rule, except an adjournment motion, on the issues of price rise and fuel price hike.
The speaker had rejected the opposition's demand for a discussion under an adjournment motion Wednesday.
However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal objected to the opposition's demand for a discussion under an adjournment motion and stated that the government was ready for a discussion under rule 193, which does not entail voting.
"Please let question hour proceed," urged Speaker Meira Kumar but Swaraj retorted that the only issue that would be discussed in the house was the price rise.
As the speaker called the first question about 15 minutes into the sitting, opposition members stormed the speaker's podium, forcing her to adjourn the house till 12 noon and then for the day.
The Rajya Sabha, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present during the din, was earlier adjourned on the price rise issue till 12 noon and then for the day.
Parliament has not been able to transact any business on the three working days of the monsoon session that began on Monday due to vociferous opposition demands that the price rise issue be debated under an adjournment motion that entails voting.