The political storm over the foreign direct investment in retail gathered momentum on Monday paralysing proceedings in Parliament for the second day amid vociferous demands to withdraw the controversial decision.
Both Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha could not transact any business and witnessed uproar over the FDI issue, leading to their adjournment till tomorrow.
Members of several parties, including Trinamool Congress, a United Progressive Alliance constituent, stormed the Well in Lok Sabha opposing the decision on FDI and on other issues. Left members were also in the Well as Bjharatiya Janata Party members showed posters on the FDI issue.
In the Rajya Sabha too the Trinaool Congress members were on their legs. The two Houses were rocked on Friday too, a day after government decided to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail.
With several other issues including price rise, separate Telangana and safety of Mullaperiyar dam raising the political temperature, proceedings of Parliament remained a virtual washout since the Winter session began last Tuesday. Some Congress members from Kerala were seen in the Well on the Mullaperiyar issue, while TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao and some other members from Telangana were pressing demand for a separate state.
It was a placards galore in the Lower House with members carrying posters 'Don't allow FDI in retail', 'Bring separate Telangana Bill' and 'Mullaperiyar Dam in danger: Save 30 lakh people in Kerala'.
The uproar continued despite Deputy Speaker Karia Munda informing Lok Sabha that "all the notices of adjournment motion on FDI in retail sector are under consideration of the Speaker. She will take a decision in due course."
Murli Manohar Joshi (BJP) and Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Basudeb Acharia had given notices of adjournment motion on the FDI issue in the Lower House.
Barring Shiromani Akali Dal, other Opposition parties are opposing the FDI move.
While the BJP has announced that it would not allow foreign multinationals to set shop in states ruled by it, BSP chief and UP Chief Minister Mayawati,
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, BJD chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are also opposed to the FDI move.
In the Rajya Sabha, the entire opposition and Trinamool Congress members were on their feet against the Government's decision when it reassembled at noon.
Immediately after Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan took his seat, BSP members were on their feet, raising slogans like "FDI wapas lo (withdraw FDI)". They were supported by the BJP, the Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Dal-United, AIADMK and Asom Gana Parishad. Trinamool Congress members also stood up to demand withdrawal of the FDI decision.
Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley, whose party BJP had moved a motion for adjournment of the Question Hour on the issue, again made an attempt to speak but could not do so. As the din continued, Khan adjourned the House for the day.
Earlier, when the Upper House met for the day, the BSP, JD-U, AIADMK and Samajwadi Party members raised slogans against the FDI decision soon after Chairman Hamid Ansari took his seat. Left MPs from Kerala moved into the Well holding banners on the safety of Mullaperiyar dam in the state.
The chairman's appeals to members not to raise banners or to withdraw from the Well went unheeded, forcing him to adjourn the House till noon. The same scene prevailed when the House reassembled, forcing adjournment of the House for the day.