Members of several parties led by RJD chief Lalu Prasad today forced adjournment of the Lok Sabha for two hours protesting against the deferment of the MPs' pay hike bill by the government.
A day after the Union Cabinet deferred a decision on the proposed increase, an angry Prasad created uproar in the House during Zero Hour. He was joined by Mulayam Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party and other members of SP, BSP, RJD, JD(U), Shiv Sena and Trinamool Congress.
Several Congress members were also seen standing in support of Prasad's demand for a fair deal to the law makers. They were gesticulating to BJP members to stand up in support of the issue and not remain silent spectators.
Left members appeared to have kept themselves aloof from the issue, as their parties have been historically opposing any move by Parliament to decide on the salary and allowances of members and instead have favoured an independent commission.
Speaker Meira Kumar tried to pacify the agitating members but they were in no mood to listen.
She called BJP member Yogi Adityanath to raise his Zero Hour issue, but he could not be heard in the din.
MPs currently get Rs 16,000 per month as salary, but the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry has suggested raising it to Rs 50,000 as against Rs 80,001 recommended by a Parliamentary Committee on the grounds that it would be one rupee more than that of a secretary at Rs 80,001.
The House Committee is led by Congress MP from Chhattisgarh Charandas Mahant.
On Monday, the Union Cabinet had deferred a decision on the bill to raise the salary and allowances of MPs following division among Ministers.
The proposal to raise salaries and allowances of MPs has been put off by the Union Cabinet twice in the past.
Besides the base salary, an MP gets a daily allowance of Rs 1,000 for each day when Parliament is in session or a sitting of a House committee is scheduled. A member is also entitled to a constituency allowance of Rs 20,000 per month and office expense allowance of another Rs 20,000 each month.
Apart from these, they are entitled to a certain number of air journeys, AC first class train travel and rent-free flat or hostel accommodation throughout the term.
Soon after the Speaker adjourned the House till 2 PM, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee went to Prasad and was seen talking to him and Mulayam.
On Monday after the Cabinet decision, Prasad had said he would lead the protest in Lok Sabha. "I am going to be the Monitor. I will raise the sentiments of MPs in the House on Wednesday," he had said.