Opposition parties put forward a united front in Parliament on Monday as they escalated attacks on the government over the demonetisation issue. Both Houses had to be adjourned multiple times through the day only to be reconvened for a brief couple of minutes before pandemonium ensued again.
In the Lok Sabha, the Congress and other parties insisted on a debate under Rule 56, which entails voting and suspension of all other business, through an adjournment motion.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said the government was ready for discussion if the opposition allowed it under Rule 193 that does not entail voting or passage of a resolution.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday morning that the opposition was not ready for any debate but was merely trying new tactics every day to disrupt Parliament.
At the start of the day’s proceedings, Congress party said they would raise the alleged “illegality” in the introduction of the Rs 2000 currency note.
The last three days in Parliament saw the opposition and ruling side clash over the move to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Despite the opposition’s demands for the fourth day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet speak in Parliament on the issue.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) issued a whip to its Rajya Sabha members, asking them to be present in the House for the next three days starting Monday.
Here are the live updates:
3.00 pm: Rajya Sabha reconvenes for the fifth time on Monday, only to be adjourned for the day just minutes into the session.
2.00 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned for the day as opposition continues protests over demonetisation issue. Rajya Sabha adjourned till 3 pm.
12.35 pm: The Rajya Sabha is adjourned by chairman Ansari again for 2 pm as the opposition refuses to allow proceedings to continue unless the Prime Minister addresses their questions on demonetisation in Parliament.
12.10 pm: The Lok Sabha assembles again only to be adjourned by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan until 2 pm as it becomes impossible to continue Zero Hour amid the uproar.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu made a suo motu statement on the derailment of Indore-Patna Express in Kanpur on Sunday which has claimed 147 lives so far.
“This is really very sorry. You do not want to hear the minister,” Mahajan said adjourning the House.
12.00 pm: ‘Let the Question Hour run. I plead with you, please’, says chairman of the Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari as the House reconvenes. As the opposition protest continues, he adjourns the House for another half an hour - the third time since the session began on Monday.
11.50 am: The Lok Sabha is also adjourned briefly till noon as the opposition continues to disrupt proceedings.
11.30 am: Meanwhile, the Question Hour session is underway in the Lok Sabha even as opposition party MPs raise slogans against the government.
11.15 am: Deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha PJ Kurien adjourns proceedings till 11.30 am after the opposition stormed the well of the House. As the uproar continues, Kurien reschedules it for 12.00 pm.
11.10 am: Opposition not ready for debate, trying new tactics every day to disrupt Parliament proceedings, says FM Arun Jaitley as session begins in Rajya Sabha. CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury asks to debate later and to first offer tributes for people who have died standing in queues and working long hours in banks.
The opposition parties demanded that Parliament condole the death of those who they allege have died because of the cash crunch after demonetisation.
“The 70 people, who have died standing in queues at banks, deserve a tribute,” said Leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.
11.00 am: Opposition to continue to press for adjournment motion in Lok Sabha on demonetisation, says Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
10.45 am: Trinamool Congress MPs stage a protest at the entrance of the Parliament building against the ‘financial emergency’ imposed by the government.
10.40 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets senior ministers in his Parliament chamber, reports ANI.
10.35 am: Meeting of opposition parties concludes; they plan to stage a protest at Gandhi statue in Parliament on November 23 against demonetisation.
10.10 am: Railway minister Suresh Prabhu to make statement on Monday in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on Kanpur train tragedy, reports ANI.
10.00 am: The Congress party is set to raise in Parliament the “illegality” in issuing Rs 2000 currency note, reports PTI. Claiming that the PM had plunged the country into “financial anarchy”, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the introduction of Rs 2,000 denomination notes is an “illegal act” as the notification required to be issued under the RBI Act for printing new currency has not been issued, ignoring what is mandatory under the law.
Congress alleges illegality in issuing Rs 2000 currency note, to raise in Parliament.— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) November 21, 2016
9.45 am: Opposition parties in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha meet in Parliament ahead of the day’s session as they seek to chalk out a united strategy on the demonetisation issue.