New Delhi: The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Thursday as a united Opposition demanded a debate on demonetisation under a parliamentary provision that entails voting, which was not acceptable to the government.
Soon after the house met, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge urged Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to accept their notice for an adjournment motion.
Under the adjournment motion, all other business is set aside and the debate is followed by voting. But Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the debate should be a short duration discussion under rule 193. Mahajan then proceeded with the Question Hour even as opposition members raised slogans and created a ruckus in the house.
Soon after the Question Hour ended, Mahajan disallowed notices of adjournment motion received from different political parties over the issue. Then papers were laid on the table of the House. After their notices were disallowed the opposition members started raising slogans against the government.
"We want discussion under Rule 56 which allows voting. It will not be proper to discuss under Rule 193. Our adjournment motion should be accepted and debate should take place under Rule 56," Kharge said.
The Speaker then said the opposition did not seem to want a debate. She, however, adjourned the house till 12.30 pm, saying the debate cannot take place amid disturbances. Mahajan then held a meeting in her chamber with the leaders of parties and government but they didn't reach at any consensus.
When the house met again, the scene was no different and a united opposition including Congress, TMC, RJD and SP demanded a discussion under relevant rules, which entails voting. Kharge countered the government intention of having discussion under rule 193 saying it is of no use as it does not have the provision of voting.
Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said the opposition was united and wanted to "censure" the government by voting. "Today the situation is very different as the opposition is united," he said urging the Speaker to accept their adjournment notice. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, however, said a divided message should not go from the house.
"The public is with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision. We want the opposition to discuss the issue. I am sure there is no difference in opinion on curbing black money, corruption and counterfeit currency," the minister said.
Kumar said the government has already made it clear that it is ready to discuss the issue. Not satisfied with the government's suggestion of discussing the issue under rule 193, the opposition members started shouting slogans. As no agreement was reached between the government and the opposition, the Speaker adjourned the house for the day.