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Price rise: Oppn holds House to ransom

An opposition demanding a debate on price rise, under a motion that entails voting, stalled both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday. HT reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 28, 2010 01:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

An opposition demanding a debate on price rise, under a motion that entails voting, stalled both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday.

The members, from BJP-led NDA and Left, frequently interrupted Question Hour, asking that an adjournment motion be admitted to discuss the hike in prices of kerosene and LPG.

They then vowed to move the motion again on Wednesday, setting the stage for another showdown.

"We will bring an adjournment motion tomorrow too," said deputy leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde.

"An adjournment motion is the most powerful means of bringing pressing issues to the forefront, and we will accept nothing short of it."

CPM's Sitaram Yechuri said, "We have submitted fresh notices in both Houses for discussion on the matter tomorrow under rules that entail voting. The notices have been submitted as an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha and under Rule 168 in Rajya Sabha."

The adjournment motion is a procedure involving censure of the government in which the business of the House is set aside to take up an urgent matter that affects people and for which the government is responsible. Once it is admitted, the debate is uninterrupted — even the Speaker cannot halt it — and there is a division in the end.

The Speaker, however, can reject an adjournment motion.

As such a motion is not admissible on a continuing issue — which price rise is — the BJP chose to move it on the hiked fuel prices, which, government sources admit, was a smart move.

As proceedings started, Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, demanded stopping "the entire work and discussing price rise", while RJD and SP members, including Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav, entered the well shouting slogans against the government.

The BSP, too, wanted a discussion but not under a motion that entails voting.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters outside Parliament that the issue has been discussed "fair and square" in the past three sessions.

"It's a bogey raised to divert attention from the other issues, basically the complicity of the BJP outfits...BJP-led outfits in the acts of terrorism."

BJP's 11 issues

The BJP Parliamentary Party met on Tuesday to discuss its strategy for the monsoon session of Parliament.

Though price rise will remain the primary issue, the party has decided to take up other important matters — including Bhopal gas tragedy, CBI misuse, government failure on Indo-Pakistan talks — as well, said Munde.

First Published: Jul 27, 2010 23:36 IST