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As it happened: Both Houses adjourned as demonetisation protests rage on

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government is ready for any debate on demonetisation in the Parliament.

Parliament winter session 2016 Updated: Nov 22, 2016 14:59 IST
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Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government is ready for any debate on demonetisation in the Parliament.(HT file photo)

Not unlike the first four days of the winter session, Tuesday’s proceedings in both Houses was constantly disrupted as opposition parties demanded for a debate on demonetisation and for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address Parliament on the issue.

Like Monday, the opposition parties met to shape strategy to corner the government over its decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes that has led to a scramble for cash, with snaking queues outside banks and ATMs. A BJP parliamentary meet was held as well where finance minister Arun Jaitley defended the demonetisation move.

Read | Demonetisation has placed premium on honesty of common man: FM Arun Jaitley

About 200 Opposition parliamentarians, led by the Congress, will hold a protest near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Parliament complex on Wednesday, and will also take to the streets in New Delhi and across the country to highlight the “economic anarchy” and harassment to the people.

Here are the highlights from the Houses on Day 5 of the Parliament winter session:

2.00pm: “I cannot bring the PM, Mr. Rangarajan. That is not my job,” says deputy chairman Kurien (to Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP from Tamil Nadu TK Rangarajan) as the opposition protests in the well of the House again as the Rajya Sabha convenes again on Tuesday afternoon. They continue raising slogans demanding the Prime Minister addresses the demonetisation issue in Parliament.

“There are 28 more speakers to go,” says Kurien, referring the Question Hour proceedings that was scheduled to take place. “It is an injustice to them, that is all I have to say.”

As the din continues, a resigned Kurien adjourns the House for the day until 11 am on Wednesday morning saying, “I am very sorry, but I cannot conduct the house. I am helpless.”

12.35pm: Hamid Ansari attempts to hold Question Hour in the House, as it reconvenes for the third day time on Tuesday, but is forced to adjourn proceedings till 2pm as opposition party members clamours for PM’s statement on demonetisation. Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Prem Chand Gupta and Janata Dal (United)’s Sharad Yadav spoke about the deaths that resulted from the demonetisation move announced on November 8, before the House was adjourned.

12.10pm: Pandemonium in the Lok Sabha as the opposition parties demand for Prime Minister’s presence in the Parliament for demonetisation debate. Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay charges the ruling party as responsible for the ‘turmoil in the House’ and says that opposition parties are ready for debate, but under an adjournment motion.

Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar responds, “Want to tell everyone that we are ready for a debate in both the Houses.” As the din refuses to subside, the Lok Sabha is adjourned for the day.

Read | Winter session: Opposition in huddle over note ban, Modi meets party MPs

12.00pm: “Could you please allow the Question Hour. Please stop shouting, this is most unbecoming,” says Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari to protestors belonging to opposition parties as he reconvenes Rajya Sabha. They’re holding up posters and chanting in Hindi, ‘Prime Minister, address the House’. Ansari adjourns Rajya Sabha for another 30 minutes.

11.30 am: Rajya Sabha reconvenes only to be adjourned again till 12 pm.

11.20am: Lok Sabha too is adjourned till 12pm after opposition parties begin protesting.

11.11am: You cannot speak in the Well, shouting in the Well is of no use,’ says Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien as opposition crowds in to the well of the House, protesting against the demonetisation issue and Prime Minister Modi’s silence in Parliament, as soon as proceedings begin for the day

‘I am ready to accept 267 notice put forward by Ghulam Nabi Azad only if there is order in the house,’ says Kurien, before adjourning the House till 11.30.

11.00 am: ANI quotes finance minister Arun Jaitley as saying during the parliamentary meet, “We are ready for a discussion on demonetisation as we have said many times.” He goes on to say that the country has welcomed the move but the scale of operations and the requirement for secrecy made it a challenging task.

“Everybody should consider the intent behind the demonetisation move and how it’ll help the poor in the long run,” Jaitley says. He also tells the meet that cash will continue to exist but there’ll be greater focus on digital currency.

Read full report on Jaitley’s BJP parliamentary party address here.

10.55am: We had passed a resolution in favour of demonetisation, it was moved by home minister Rajnath Singh, says parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu after the meet.

10.50am: BJP parliamentary board members meet ahead of the Day 5 of Parliament’s winter session.

10.42am: Congress and its allies have decided to hold protests in New Delhi and across the country over demonetisation. Opposition leaders to meet President Pranab Mukherjee.

First Published: Nov 22, 2016 11:10 IST