The Prime Minister could speak on demonetisation in Parliament if there is a proper debate, the government said on Monday in a fresh bid to end the deadlock over the controversial issue that has stalled both Houses for the eighth consecutive day.
Rajya Sabha saw three adjournments between 11am and 2pm, before the final one for the day. Lok Sabha was adjourned twice before being adjourned for the day at 2:10 pm.
The opposition led by the Congress is pressing for a debate under a rule that entails voting, besides demanding Narendra Modi’s clarification over his shock announcement scrapping high-value banknotes that has left millions of Indians scrambling for cash.
“If there is a debate, the Prime Minister can speak. But the Opposition doesn’t want a debate. Last week, they fielded (former PM) Manmohan Singh and then disrupted the House,” information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu said in the Rajya Sabha.
In the Lok Sabha, home minister Rajnath Singh refuted the Opposition’s allegation that Modi was skipping the House.
Singh said it was clear nobody was questioning the government’s intentions. As he was speaking, Opposition members trooped into the well and shouted slogans.
Amid the din, Singh said the government was ready for a discussion and willing to listen to the complaints and suggestions of parties over demonetisation.
Earlier, Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge said demonetisation had harmed the economic system, leaving farmers, youths, labourers and women among others in distress.
The Congress leader said over 70 people died due to the faulty implementation of demonetisation.
He cited the incident of a Union minister (Sadanand Gowda) facing difficulty in paying hospital bills after his brother died and said it was evidence of the extent of the crisis.
“There is only one way to break this deadlock. The Prime Minister should come to the House and the opposition’s adjournment motion should be accepted,” he said.