The winter session of Parliament witnessed on Friday another round of protests by the Opposition as they remained firm on demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation during the debate on demonetisation.
Proceedings in both Houses were disrupted for the seventh day even though discussion over the scrapping of old Rs 500/1000 notes resumed briefly when Modi was present in the Rajya Sabha before lunch on Thursday.
In Rajya Sabha, former prime minister and economist Manmohan Singh led the Congress charge against demonetisation, calling it a case of “organised loot and legalised plunder”. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, however, denied accusations and said the Opposition was looking for reasons to run away from the debate.
Bhartiya Janata Party’s rivals have called for a rollback of demonetisation -- aimed at curtailing black money in the Indian economy -- as millions have thronged banks and ATMs to withdraw cash since the scheme was launched on November 9.
Here are the live updates:
2:35pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till Monday, November 28.
1:15pm: Minister of state for finance, Arjun Ram Meghwal, attempts to clarify Modi’s criticism of his critics over demonetisation earlier on Friday. He says: “PM Narendra Modi’s remark was not about the Opposition, it was on black money holders.”
12:51pm: Congress vice-president interacts with the media outside Parliament. He says: “Everything will be clear once the Prime Minister comes to the House.”
Main kehta hu house me aaiye fir dekhte hain Modi ji pe kaunsa emotion dikhta hai: Cong VP Rahul Gandhi on PM Modi pic.twitter.com/XGgW7wOmTk— ANI (@ANI_news) November 25, 2016
The PM is unlikely to attend Parliament as he is on a visit to Punjab on Friday.
Main kehta hu house me aaiye fir dekhte hain Modi ji pe kaunsa expression dikhta hai: Cong VP Rahul Gandhi on PM Modi
12:35pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till Monday, November 28.
12:25pm: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allows Sudip Bandyopadhyay to speak and the TMC parliamentarian from West Bengal repeats the Opposition’s demand for an apology from the PM.
12:15pm: BJP’s Sunil Kumar Singh makes submission before the Chair to discuss demonetisation in Lok Sabha.
12:05pm: Azad spearheads the Congress attack again, criticising the Prime Minister’s move to slam his critics outside the Parliament where the Opposition cannot defend itself. RS is adjourned till 2:30pm.
Protests continue to disrupt Lok Sabha proceedings.
12pm: Both Houses reconvene after an hour-long adjournment.
11:50am: LS Speaker Sumitra Mahajan takes cognizance of the incident and will talk to officials regarding the security breach. The man who tried to jump into the House has been identified as Rakesh Singh Baghel, TV reports say.
11:45am: Commotion in Lok Sabha as a man tries to jump over the over the fence of visitors’ gallery into the House.
11:25am: Both Houses adjourned till 12pm amid protests against PM’s comments on black money.
Watch | Live debate in Rajya Sabha
11:20am: In Lok Sabha, Arun Jaitley reiterates the government’s stance that the move to demonetise currency will encourage growth of the digital economy.
11:15am: “The debate was disrupted only because the government did not stand by its statement that the PM will be present in the House till the end of the debate,” says Azad, as Kurien assures leaders that Modi will arrive during the interval.
BSP chief Mayawati questions why the Prime Minister would level accusations against the Opposition during a book release function and not inside the House. TMC leader Derek O’Brien chimes in to the demand, asking Modi to apologise for his remarks.
Minister of state Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi lashed out at the opposition parties for deciding to observe November 28 as ‘Akrosh Divas’ and said that the disruptions despite Prime Minister Modi’s presence in Parliament (on Thursday) has exposed the Congress.
11:10am: Deputy chairperson PJ Kurien tries to calm opposition leaders as they chant slogans in the Well against PM Modi in Rajya Sabha. Demonstrations drown out the discussion in Lok Sabha as well.
11:05: Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad says Prime Minister should apologise for levelling allegations against the Opposition over demonetisaiton. Modi said earlier on Friday that the critics of demonetisation were pained that they themselves did not get time to make any preparation for dealing with black money.
Azad also demanded that the proceedings must be suspended under Rule 267 to discuss demonetisation besides Prime Minister Modi’s presence in the Upper House.
11am: Both Houses begin proceedings for the 8th day of winter session.
10:35am: Sources say parties have decided that the Opposition will continue to demand PM’s presence and participation in the parliamentary debate on currency ban.
10:30am: As Reserve Bank of India announced that over-the-counter exchange of notes will continue only at RBI, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge criticised the frequent change in policy and said such measures are harassing the poor.
10:15am: Opposition leaders huddle up in Parliament before the Houses convene at 11am. Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar tells reporters outside the Parliament Building that the government is ready for a debate but the Opposition is running away from it.
9:30am: Taking a dig at rivals, PM Modi said in a speech ahead of the parliamentary session on Friday that those “criticising demonetisation don’t have a problem with the government’s preparedness, their problem is that they didn’t get time to prepare”.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister had thanked people for responding favourably to a survey on public reaction to demonetisation.
9am: Opposition leaders will meet in Parliament at 10 am, reports ANI.
(With inputs from agencies)