Can a debate on demonetisation under no rule save the winter session of Parliament?
With barely a week left for the session, the Opposition is known to have proposed to the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to hold a debate on demonetization waiving off, albeit temporarily, all rules.
The Speaker of Lok Sabha and the Chairman of Rajya Sabha have powers to allow a debate on any important issue without any rules.
The Opposition initially wanted a debate which will entail voting. The government ruled this out fearing it will be outnumbered in Rajya Sabha.
As the logjam continues, the new proposal has emerged as a middle-path.
On Thursday, Congress chief whip in Lok Sabha, Jyotiraditya Scindia held a long conversation with Trinamool Congress’ floor leader Sudip Bandopadhyay. While the Congress and the Trinamool are likely to back the plan for a rule-less debate, the stand of the other Opposition parties were unclear.
Also on Thursday, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said that he wanted a debate in the House. “We will catch the PM inside the House. He can’t run away from there,” Gandhi said, referring to the Opposition’s allegation that the PM is avoiding the House but speaking outside on demonetization.
For past 16 days, the House has not been able to transact business, barring the passage of the supplementary budge allocations, due to Opposition’s disruptions.