Demonetisation: Cong says no debate until PM present in RS, govt rejects demand
The Congress said on Thursday there would be no discussion on the demonetisation issue in the Rajya Sabha until Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House, a demanded later rejected by the government.india Updated: Nov 17, 2016 18:10 IST
The Congress said on Thursday there would be no discussion on the demonetisation issue in the Rajya Sabha until Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House, a demanded later rejected by the government.
“We raised this issue in the Rajya Sabha yesterday (Wednesday) that the demonetisation announcement was made by the Prime Minister, therefore, he should have been present in the House, and should have listened to the opposition, and answered too. We wanted his presence in the House, but he did not turn up… until the Prime Minister comes to the Upper House, there will be no discussion on the issue,” the Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad told ANI.
“The BJP is doing everything at its will. They have ended democracy in the Lower House,” Azad said.
The government later rejected the demand for Modi’s response on the debate, accusing the Opposition of using it as an excuse to scuttle Parliament proceedings.
Information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters a reply to the debate would be given by the minister concerned or any other person on behalf of the government as per the rules of the House and precedents.
The Opposition disrupted the Rajya Sabha, stalling midway the discussion on demonetisation that began on Wednesday.
A united Opposition’s relentless demand for a debate on demonetisation under a rule that entails voting forced the adjournment of the Lok Sabha, too, for the day as the government refused to accept it.
“Half way through, they realised that by raising such a debate it is going negative on them and boomeranging. Now I am afraid, are they trying to find a way out to come out of this and then stall the debate on one pretext or the other,” Naidu said.
Dubbing the uproar by the Congress and other Opposition parties as an “excuse” to stall a debate, Naidu alleged that there is no rationale behind it.
The minister said things will happen as per the rules and procedures of the House and urged that the debate should go on.
“I feel that those who started the debate are now understanding that it is going negative, that is why they are finding excuse for not allowing the discussion.
“They are speaking in double tone and in different voices. They are not coming out openly either for or against. They are in dilemma and that dilemma will continue,” he said.
Naidu said the entire country is watching as to who are with the hoarders and with the people with black money and who are with the government and the Prime Minister, who has “taken such a revolutionary step. They have to make a choice”.
“Let the discussion take place. Then who will reply in the government. It could be the concerned Minister. The solution will come through the government as per traditions and rules,” he said.
Naidu said government is addressing the problems faced by people on demonetisation and any suggestion, if worth considering, will be take up positively.
“Government is open to ideas to improve the system. But if somebody is trying to question this and attribute motives, then people are there to finally come to an assessment and decide. Let every party decide are they in favour of this move or against it, for which they have no answer directly,” the minister said.
First Published: Nov 17, 2016 17:15 IST