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Demonetization: Govt rejects Opposition demand for reply from Prime Minister

Demonetization: Govt rejects Opposition demand for reply from Prime Minister

Both Houses of Parliament on Thursday witnessed chaotic scenes, with the Opposition raising slogans in the well over the scrapping of Rs1,000 and Rs500 notes, forcing adjournments. In Rajya Sabha, the Opposition stalled further debate on the issue demanding the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be present in the House and respond to their queries. The government, however, rejected the demand saying, the reply 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 Lok Sabha witnessed over an hour-long uproar before Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House first up to 12.30 pm and then for the day. The Opposition stormed in the well after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government was prepared for the debate as already agreed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday but not on their adjournment motions under Rule 56 that entails voting but under Rule 193. The Speaker carried on the question hour despite the ruckus and later rejected all adjournment notices, saying she would allow discussion as the matter is important but not under the pressure of the pandemonium. Congress group leader Mallikarjun Kharge pressed for adjournment as soon as the Lok Sabha assembled, pointing out that all parties want to bring in focus the people’s hardship and disruption. In the Rajya Sabha, the Congress members asserted that they would not let the House function until PM Modi comes to the House to join the debate on the note ban. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri said Thursday was also the PM’s day to reply questions and hence the PM should have been present in the House. Slogan shouting AIADMK members trooped into the well raising slogans demanding that Karnataka release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu when Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien was speaking. He wanted a voting on implementation of the demonetization. When the debate on the demonetization began in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, the BJP members remained passive. They, however, entered into a heated protests when Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad compared the casualties in the terrorist attack at the Uri army base and people dying in queues before banks for note change. In heated arguments in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi led the Centre’s charge, declaring that the government would not roll back demonetization of high denomination notes no matter what anybody says since “this decision is against black marketers, Pakistani terrorists and those betraying the country.” Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkiah Naidu criticised Opposition for stalling the debate. He said government is addressing the problems faced by people on demonetization and any suggestion, if worth considering, will be taken up positively.”The 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.

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