Opposition parties on Tuesday continued their tirade against the government in the both the houses of Parliament over the demonetisation issue as vociferous protests and slogan shouting forced adjournment of the proceedings.
Rajya Sabha adjourned amid continued protests by Oppn seeking Modi's presence
Opposition Congress, TMC and BSP members trooped into the Well of the House raising slogans demanding Modi's presence, forcing Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien to adjourn the proceedings till noon.
Soon after the listed papers were laid, Mayawati (BSP) said the government was adopting an adamant behaviour and the Prime Minister should come to the House and listen to the discussion on hardships caused due to ban on old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.
As Congress, SP, TMC and other opposition members joined the protests, Kurien said the discussion on the issue can be resumed immediately as the government too was ready.
Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the debate is not yet complete and the Prime Minister will come and intervene.
He questioned Opposition's intentions by not debating and repeatedly stalling House.
At this point, Opposition members trooped into the Well raising slogans like "Modi sadan mein aao (Modi, come to the House)" and "Modi manmaani band karo (Modi, stop arbitrariness)".
Opposition parties troop down to the Well demanding Prime Minister Modi's presence. YouTube screengrab.
Treasury benches countered them with slogans of Modi Zindabad (Hail Modi).
Kurien asked members to go back to their places and start the discussion. "Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is here and it has been promised the Prime Minister will intervene," he told the protesting members who remained unrelenting.
"Actually you don't want discussion," he said. "Why are you doing this? What is the benefit (of this)," he said before adjourning the proceedings till noon.
Earlier, the nearly empty treasury benches led the Opposition to create a ruckus.
As Kurien called the House to order and called for the tabling of listed papers, Opposition benches protested while pointing to the empty BJP benches.
Only Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Faggan Singh Kulaste were present.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad pointed to the empty benches as Kurien called ministers to lay papers.
Kurien said there was enough quorum to run the House and the Chair is not concerned about the presence of treasury or opposition benches.
"There are enough members to conduct the proceedings," he said. "Why are you worried about treasury benches," he asked protesting opposition members.
First Sitharaman and then Naidu explained that the members were a bit delayed because of the BJP parliamentary party meeting.
"You are not bound to explain," Kurien told Naidu. "Your members have right to be present or not present as the Opposition members. That is within your right."
Soon members from the ruling party started trooping in. There were protests again when Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was not present to lay a paper on behalf of Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel. Amid protests, Sitharaman did that on behalf of Naqvi.
Kurien said Goel had taken leave of absence and Naqvi was permitted to lay the papers on his behalf. And in absence of Naqvi, he had permitted Sitharaman to do it. Soon, Naqvi came into the House and all the listed papers were laid.
Similar scenes were witnessed when the House met at noon as Chairman Hamid Ansari's pleas for allowing the Question Hour to be taken up fell on deaf ears.
Soon after the House reassembled, Naresh Agrawal (SP) rose to raise a Point of Order, but was disallowed by the Chairman.
While Agrawal said he wanted to raise a "very serious Point of Order", Ansari said, "No Point of Order during Question Hour".
As the Chairman directed starting of the Question Hour, Congress and other Opposition members, who were standing in the aisles, raised slogans and rushed to the Well.
Slogans like "Pradhan Mantri House mein aao" (Prime Minister, come to the House) rent the air, which were countered by the treasury benches with "Pradhan Mantri Zindabad" (Hail Prime Minister).
While TMC members raised slogans of "Modi Sarkar Hai Hai" (Down with Modi government), Congress members raised the slogan "Modi teri tanashahi nahin chalegi (Your dictatorship will not be allowed)
Amid the continued din in the House, the Chairman adjourned the House till 2pm.
As the House reconvened at 2 pm, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal raised a point of order against the undermining of the Rajya Sabha.
He argued the government had brought in a Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday to amend the Income Tax Act.
He said that the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, has not been put before the Rajya Sabha and the aim was to convert it into a Money Bill after which the Rajya Sabha will be forced to pass it.
Agarwal said the government was determined to "undermine" the Upper House, a charge that was supported by other Opposition parties including the Congress.
He demanded that a committee be set up to look into issues affecting the prestige of the House.
This move was supported by the Congress leaders Rajiv Shukla and Jairam Ramesh and those from other parties who said it was a serious matter that many bills were being introduced as Money Bill by the government which undermined Rajya Sabha.
SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said moves to bring down the prestige of the House should not be allowed.
Giving his ruling, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said the Constitution is very clear on what is a Money Bill and what is not. He also asked Agarwal to give a proper notice for setting up of a committee.
Kurien then took up discussion on the demonetisation issue, following which the Congress and BSP leader trooped into the Well of the House demanding the presence of the Prime Minister.
Following continued sloganeering, Kurien adjourned the House for the day.
Lok Sabha passes Taxation Law Second Amendment Bill, 2016 without debate
With a combative Opposition raising their pitch and protesting in the Well, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House for an half-an-hour soon after the Question Hour began.
More than 30 Opposition members, including those from the Congress, TMC and the Left parties, trooped into the Well shouting slogans and some of them also resorted to howling.
Members from the AIADMK were seen standing at their seats. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge tried to raise some issue relating to the Bill to amend the IT Act but Mahajan did not grant him permission. The Bill was introduced in the House on Monday and was listed in Tuesday's business for consideration and passage.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moving taxation law (amend) bill for passing in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. PTI
Amid the din, one question and related supplementaries were taken up during the Question Hour.
As the ruckus continued, Mahajan wondered what was happening before adjourning the proceedings till 11.30 am.
After the House resumed following the short adjournment, Opposition members again rushed to the Well and raised slogans demanding the admission of an adjournment motion to discuss the demonetisation issue.
As the protesting members continued sloganeering, the Speaker asked them to return to their seats, but to no avail.
She, however, took another question amid the noisy scenes. "What you are doing is not fair. Please go to your seats," Mahajan said before adjourning the House till noon.
Lok Sabha has experienced a virtual washout of its proceedings since the Winter Session began on 16 November with Opposition and the government locking horns over the demonetisation issue
The House saw disruption from Opposition members again when it met at noon as they trooped into the Well raising anti-government slogans.
Mahajan adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm within a few minutes after the House reassembled.
When the Lower House met at 2 pm, the House was adjourned for the fourth time, but only this time the reason could not be ascertained.
The opposition leaders once again raised the demand for a debate on demonetisation through an adjournment motion but no one trooped into the Well.
But Hukum Singh (BJP), who was chairing the proceedings, asked them to wait till he asks members to lay the matters of urgent public importance they wanted to raise.
He immediately adjourned the House till 2.30 pm hours thereafter.
At that time, there was no din and no opposition member was in Well. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was slated to move a bill to amend the Income Tax Act for consideration and passage, was also present.
After the House was adjourned, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs SS Ahluwalia was seen talking to senior Opposition members, apparently seeking their support to get the bill passed.
The bill, however, was passed even as the opposition members protested and raised slogans against the government.
Jaitley, while moving the bill for consideration and passing, called it one of the steps by the Centre to curb black money.
"This is an attempt to get the (black) money into the mainstream," he said.
However, the opposition members insisted the lower house first take up a debate on demonetisation under the rule pertaining to an adjournment motion, and the bill be taken up thereafter.
Trinamool Congress member Sudip Bandyopadhyay suggested that the debate and the bill can be clubbed, which Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said was not possible.
While the opposition protested, the Speaker put the bill to vote amid the din, and it was passed by a voice vote.
According to the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, the declarant will have to pay a tax of 60 percent and an additional surcharge of 25 percent of the tax (i.e. 15 percent of such income), resulting in a total tax component of 75 percent.