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Budget Session starts on a tempestuous note

Last updated on: July 07, 2014 15:39 IST

The Budget session of Parliament on Monday got off to a stormy start with the first day in Lok Sabha being virtually washed out on the issue of price rise and rail fare hike as a strident Opposition insisted on a discussion under an adjournment motion.

The House managed to take up just two questions amid uproar created by members of Congress, Trinamool Congress, RJD, SP, Aam Aadmi Party and the Left as they trooped into the Well raising the issues of price rise and rail fare hike.

The Opposition wanted discussion under adjournment motion but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected it, saying a debate could be taken up under Rule 193 that does not entail voting.

While Congress wanted discussion on price rise, Trinamool Congress pressed for debate on rail fare hike under adjournment motion which requires voting and amounts to censure of the government if it is passed.

The House was adjourned twice till 1400 hours before being adjourned for the day as the deadlock persisted over the Rule under which a discussion could be taken up.

Sharing concern over the price rise, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the government was ready to discuss the matter immediately and left it to the Speaker to decide under which Rule it should be done.

Mahajan said she had rejected notices for adjournment motion but accepted six notices for discussion under Rule 193. She even called P Karunakaran (CPM) to initiate the discussion.

However, Congress and some other Opposition parties insisted that the discussion should be held under the adjournment motion.

When the House met at 1400 hours, Deputy Leader of Congress Amarinder Singh said people were starving and "food prices are rising at terrible levels...how can common man survive? We don't want only a discussion but an answer from the government. We want voting in the House because it is an important issue".

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia mentioned that Rajya Sabha has allowed discussion on the issue of price rise, but Mahajan said matters of the other House cannot be discussed in the Lok Sabha.

Amid uproar, the Speaker was heard saying that members were not interested in discussing issues of the poor.

"I am sorry, if you don't want to discuss (price rise) I am adjourning the House," Mahajan said and adjourned the House for the day at around 1410 hours.

Earlier, Mahajan's repeated pleas to allow the questions to be taken up went unheeded as Opposition members continued slogan shouting against hike in prices of food as well as petrol, diesel and LPG besides rail fare hike.

When the protests began soon after the House assembled for the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was seen standing in the aisle as his colleagues were in the Well.

Slogans like "achha din ayega, mahangai badhayega (good days will come, prices will rise)" and 'roll back rail fare hike' were heard in the House.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi members were also in the Well opposing the ordinance on the Polavaram project.

Earlier, when the House met for the day trouble arose with opposition members trooping into the Well.

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