Demonetisation: BJP, Congress clash in Rajya Sabha over Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Uri remark​


New Delhi: The Lok Sabha was on Friday adjourned for the day amid loud protests by the Opposition seeking a debate on the government’s demonetisation move under the voting rule.Earlier, both houses of Parliament were adjourned till noon amid loud protests over demonetisation.

Soon after the Lok Sabha met, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan congratulated the medal winners of the Rio Olympics and Paralympics games.

 As she proceeded for the Question Hour, Leader of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge sought discussion on demonetisation under Rule 56 that which entails voting after discussion.

“People are suffering after demonetisation. We have given notices of adjournment. So accept it and begin discussion under Rule 56,” Kharge said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said people were with the government in this step.

“The government is ready to discuss it. People of the country are with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation,” Kumar said.

As the Opposition members created a ruckus, Mahajan adjourned the house till 12 noon and when it convened, the House was adjourned for the day.

The Rajya Sabha was also adjourned four times.

Slogans and counter-slogans forced the adjournment of the House first till 11:30 am, then till 12 noon and again till 12:33 pm as similar scenes continued. However, the House was later adjourned till 2:30 pm due to continued protest over demonetisation.

Opposition MPs assembled near the Chairman’s podium raising slogans against the government.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi sought an apology from the Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad for comparing the deaths of soldiers in the Uri terror attack with that of people standing in queues outside banks and ATMs post demonetisation.

Soon after listed papers were laid on the table of the House, BJP members moved into aisles shouting slogans and demanding an apology from Azad for his controversial remarks. The remarks were expunged by the Chair yesterday itself.

Congress members too rushed into the Well raising slogans demanding an apology from the Prime Minister and government for the hardship caused to the common man due to the withdrawal of 86 percent of the currency in circulation in the form of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

AIADMK members were also in the Well raising slogans over the Cauvery water issue.

Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien asked all members to leave the Well and return to their seats, assuring them that he would hear their submissions.

Amid the din, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged that Azad’s statement had given a message to the country that Congress was sympathetic to terrorism and asked why was it so agitated when the demonetisation drive was only to hurt black money hoarders.

The Chair persuaded AIADMK and Congress members to withdraw from the Well, telling them that he would give an opportunity to their leaders to raise their respective issues.

But with BJP members continuing to stand in the aisles and raise slogans, Congress members too were back in the well shouting slogans.

Kurien said treasury benches should not create problems for the Chair. “If you do this, what do I do? You should cooperate with me in running the House. Treasury benches should not disrupt,” he said.

But the din continued, forcing him to adjourn the proceedings till 11:30 am.

There was no change in the scenario when the House reassembled as both BJP and Congress members again started raising slogans.