“You do not deserve one paisa of public money.”
That was an enraged Speaker yelling at MPs, as they stormed the Well of the Lok Sabha, disrupting Question Hour that they pledged a decade ago would be sacrosanct. MPs get nearly Rs 40,000 every month as salaries and allowances apart from privileges.
“I think Parliament should be adjourned sine die. Public money should not be spent on useless allowances for you,” Somnath Chatterjee said.
Around two-dozen MPs from the BSP, BJP, TDP, PMK and MDMK raised slogans against the government on several issues.
The BSP and BJP were criticising the government for “being anti-Dalit”, the PMK and MDMK wanted amendments to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement and intervention to “stop war” in Sri Lanka, while TDP raised the Satyam issue.
After 20 minutes of pandemonium, Chatterjee finally gave up and adjourned the Lok Sabha for 40 minutes. But not before making it clear that they were “behaving in the most condemnable manner”.
“I express my greatest annoyance and condemnation,” he said, hoping that the electorate would deliver an appropriate verdict during the general elections.
Pranab reassures on economy
The country faces a difficult and complex economic situation and there is no room for complacency, said acting finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday, but cautioned against pressing the panic button as the full impact of the meltdown on India was yet to be gauged.
Replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha, he said, unless fiscal corrections and monetary corrections are moved together it would be difficult to tackle the problem.
He said he could have addressed these issues properly in his Budgetary provisions but could not do many “radical things” due to constitutional constraints on the incumbent government.
However, if the economy demands certain things and if these could be done within this parameter, “we would like to do them”, he said. “After consulting the RBI, I am not making any commitment, if the situation requires, we may be in a position to do more.”