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Opposition disrupts Parliament on fuel price issue

March 04, 2013 17:14 IST

Parliament failed to transact any business on Monday as the Opposition members created uproar over hike in fuel prices and demanded immediate rollback.

Opposition members also contended that announcement of the hike of Rs 1.40 in petrol price on Friday amounted to insult to Parliament as it should have been done inside the House when it is in session.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Shukla argued that the decision was taken by oil companies but the Opposition countered, saying the firms were State-run and therefore the government could not escape its responsibility.

It was trouble from word go in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha with members vociferously protesting the hike as soon the Houses met for the day.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned twice without transacting any business till 2 pm before being adjourned for the day.

The Rajya Sabha saw four adjournments till 3 pm before being adjourned till Tuesday.

In the Lok Sabha, members of several parties including Bharatiya Janata Party, its National Democratic Alliance allies, Left, Trinamool Congress and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam shouted slogans against the hike.

Members of Samajwadi Party, which supports the government from outside, also were protesting as their counterparts from Trinamool and AIADMK stormed the well.

In the Rajya Sabha also, members from BJP, Janata Dal-United, Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiv Sena opposed the hike as did those from SP and Left parties along with Asom Gana Parishad.

Bahujan Samaj Party, another outside supporter of the UPA, also expressed itself against the increase.

"Roll back price hike in petrol," the opposition members chanted in both the Houses.

In the Rajya Sabha, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Chair, "This is insult to your dignity. This relates to the dignity of Parliament. Can you take Parliament so lightly?"

Shukla said there was no violation of the parliamentary tradition as the hike was effected by petroleum companies since the prices are de-regulated and the government had nothing to do with it.

This, however, did not cut ice with opposition members who said the PSUs cannot be allowed to become 'swayambhu' (work independently).

Naresh Agarwal (SP) said the companies were 100 per cent owned by the government, and according to the Companies Act, they were under the control of the government.     Amid commotion, Railway Minister P K Bansal laid the Supplementary Demands for Grants (Railways) 2012-13 and Demand for Excess Grants (Railways) 2010-11 in the Rajya Sabha.

In the Lok Sabha, Speaker Meira Kumar ordered the tabling of papers listed for the day in the din before adjourning the House till 2 pm.

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