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Nagrota attack, demonetisation stop work in Parliament

Last updated on: November 30, 2016 17:59 IST

Opposition parties forced early adjournments in both Houses of parliament as they continued to press for a debate on demonetisation under any rule that entailed voting, a demand that the government has refused to accept. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi led a walkout by the Opposition over no obituary references being made for the seven Army personnel who lost their lives in the terror attack on an Army base in Nagrota, Jammu and Kashmir.

Rajya Sabha

Opposition led by Congress and Trinamool Congress on Wednesday forced two adjournments in Rajya Sabha over their demand that the House condoles the killing of 25 army men since the surgical strikes and the death of 82 persons due to post-demonetisation hardships.

Rejecting the government’s offer for discussion on the situation along the border and resuming the debate on demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupee notes, Opposition members trooped into the Well shouting anti-government slogans, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the proceedings till noon.

When the House reassembled at noon, the uproar continued and the Question Hour could not be taken up, forcing Chairman Hamid Ansari to adjourn the proceedings till 1400 hours.

No sooner had the House assembled for the day, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said there should be an obituary reference for the seven army personnel including two officers in terrorist attack at Nagrota armybase near Jammu on Tuesday as well as for the 82 persons who died because of the “wrong policies of government.”

As other opposition members joined in, Kurien got listed papers laid on the table.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy of the TMC said he had given a notice under rule 267 for an obituary resolution to mourn the martyrdom of 25 army personnel since the surgical strikes across the Line of Control, and the death of 82 people standing in queues to get valid currency after the ban on 500 and 1000 notes. Kurien, however, said the notice is not permitted.

Azad said it was a serious issue if “we are not ready to pay homage” to brave soldiers and those who died because of the “wrong policies” of the government.

Charging the government with being insensitive, Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party said demonetisation was done without preparation and a condolence message has to be brought before the House.

Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government was ready for discussion on both the issues mentioned by the Opposition.

While the discussion on demonetisation should be resumed, the government is ready for a discussion on the situation along the border, he said.

When Sharad Yadav of the Janatal Dal-United also spoke on the currency issue, Jaitley snapped at him asking him to first discuss demonetisation within his party and decide if it is against the move or for it.

His remark was an apparent reference to JD-U chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar supporting demonetisation.

“We are not against demonetisation. We are against the restrictions that have been placed (on withdrawals from own accounts),” Yadav shot back.

Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party demanded that the government pay compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of all those who lost their lives due to hardship caused by demonetisation.

As the opposition members trooped into the Well, Kurien said the government is ready for discussion on both the issues and they should decide which of the two should be discussed first.

But Opposition members continued to shout slogans like “Sharam Sharam Karo, Narendra Modi Sharam Karo (Shame on you Narendra Modi)”, “Garib Virodhi Yeh Sarkar Nahi Chalegi, Nahi Chalegi (Anti-poor government will not be tolerated)” and “Modi Teri Tanashahi Nahi Chalegi (Modi’s dictatorship will not be tolerated).”

With his pleas going unheeded, Kurien adjourned the proceedings till noon.

When the House met again, Chairman Hamid Ansari called for Question Hour to be taken up, but the Opposition members were again on their feet raising objections.

Soon the members of Congress, TMC, Left, SP, BSP and DMK stood in the aisles and started raising slogans. Later, when they raised slogans of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” the treasury bench members too joined them in shouting the same slogan.

“There is total agreement in the House”, Chairman Ansari commented sarcastically and wondered why the House was not being allowed to run.

As the din continued, Ansari adjourned the House till 2 pm.

As the House reassembled at 1400 hours, the protests continued as Opposition members kept on demanding that the House should condole the killing of armymen and the death of 82 persons due to post-demonetisation hardships.

Azad demanded a statement from the defence minister on the Nagrota attack.

"Defence Minister should come and give the statement. When such a big incident has happened...We want to know the status," the Leader of Opposition said.

To which, Naqvi said, "The Operations are still on. We will give reply at an appropriate time."

The Chair also said that the issue can be debated later.

"Where the country is one, all MPs are one... What the minister said is that the operation is going on. After that, information will be shared. We can have debate later," the the Deputy Chairman said.

Congress member Rajiv Shukla said, "Many of our soldiers have died. Many have died standing in queue after demonetisation. We need to offer condolences to both in this House."

Pramod Tiwari (Cong) said the House has tradition of offering condolences and it should do first.

"Modi government's policies has been such that they is threat to our border security," he said but did not elaborate.

To this, Deputy Chairman said, "With regard to obituary, we will do at an appropriate time."

Amid noisy scenes, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "Our soldiers are fighting against enemies. We must be sensitive and united in our approach. Otherwise, it will give a wrong message."

Amid din, TMC leader Derek O'Brien said, "We want the debate (on demonetisation which was initiated on November 16) to continue but the Prime Minister is speaking outside Parliament and painting all political parties in poor light. He should apologise."

CPI (M) member T K Rangarajan said, "....the government is spreading rumour that bandh was failure. The government should apologise."

Trying to convince the Opposition, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the armymen are fighting at borders and they are still on job.
"We are ready for debate on this issue," he said.

But the unrelenting Opposition MPs assembled near the Chairman's podium, raising slogans Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan.

The Chair expressed happiness over MPs shouting "at least acceptable slogans".

Naqvi said, "We welcome your slogans but come for discussion."

As slogan-shouting continued, the Chair warned the Opposition members that he would adjourn the House. As the pleas for order went unheeded and Opposition members continued raising slogans demanding resignation of the defence minister, Kurien adjourned the House for the day.

Lok Sabha

Opposition members walked out of Lok Sabha as their demand for an obituary reference on the soldiers who died in the terror attack on army camp in Jammu was rejected by the Speaker on the grounds that final details were yet to emerge.

The House was adjourned for nearly 40 minutes till noon after the Opposition created a din over its demand for an adjournment motion on the demonetisation issue. 

As soon as the House met for the day, Leader of Congressin Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue. 

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan initially thought he was raising the issue of allowing the Opposition to bring an adjournment motion on demonetisation.

When Kharge clarified that he wanted an obituary reference in the memory of the soldiers killed, she said she had no problems in bringing the reference but the details were still pouring in as combing operations were still on. "I know seven soldiers have been killed... let the complete report come," she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House as it was the day when questions for the Prime Minister's Office are slated to be raised.

But as Kharge was persistent, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said issues of national security should not be brought into controversy.

Most opposition members, including those from Congress, TMC, Left, RJD then staged a walkout. 

"It is sad that you raised the issue like this," Mahajan said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar attacked the Opposition over the matter, saying they should not do politics over martyrdom of soldiers, drawing protests from the Opposition benches.

When the House assembled in the morning, Opposition members raised slogans and rushed into the Well demanding a debate on demonetisation under rules which entail voting, forcing an adjournment till noon.

After the House reassembled, leaders of several Opposition parties, including Mallikarjun Kharge (Cong) and Sudip Bandhopadhyay (TMC), said they were willing to withdraw their demand that the debate be held under Rule 56, which deals with an adjournment motion, and said the government should also not insist on Rule 193 which does not involve voting at the end of the debate.

Biju Janata Dal also sided with the Opposition and rejected the government's contention with its leader Bhartruhari Mahtab saying the division of votes was not on black money but the hardships facing people and states following the decision. 

Kharge told the Speaker "you decide on any rule that involves discussion and voting. We are ready. We are not running away from debate." He drew support from Bandopadhyay. 

Expressing the government's view, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the people stood with the Narendra Modi government on its action against black money and a divided message should not go out of Parliament on the issue. 

"It should not appear that Parliament is against the measures being taken against black money," he said. 

Taking a dig at the government, Mahtab wondered who is dividing Parliament. 

"It is neither the Leader of Opposition, nor the TMC leader... We are demanding a discussion on the predicament people are facing after demonetisation. Every citizen, every state is going through hardships," he said, noting that his party has supported the demonetisation move.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said if the debate is about hardships facing people, then there is no need for division of votes and the debate should start immediately.

Mahajan suggested that a debate should begin in the Zero Hour and Parliament will try to find "something out of the zero" as both sides are divide on rules.

However, the Opposition members trooped into the Well as it became clear that the government was not agreeable to their demand.

"It shows you don't want discussion," the Speaker said as she adjourned the House till 1245 hours.

Image: Opposition members chanted slogans such as “Sharam Sharam Karo, Narendra Modi Sharam Karo (Shame on you Narendra Modi)” as they trooped into the Well. Photograph: PTI Photo

Opposition members walked out of Lok Sabha as their demand for an obituary reference on the soldiers who died in the terror attack on army camp in Jammu was rejected by the Speaker on the grounds that final details were yet to emerge.
The House was adjourned for nearly 40 minutes till noon after the Opposition created a din over its demand for an adjournment motion on the demonetisation issue. 
As soon as the House met for the day, Leader of Congressin Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue. 
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan initially thought he was raising the issue of allowing the Opposition to bring an adjournment motion on demonetisation.
When Kharge clarified that he wanted an obituary reference in the memory of the soldiers killed, she said she had no problems in bringing the reference but the details were still pouring in as combing operations were still on. "I know seven soldiers have been killed... let the complete report come," she said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House as it was the day when questions for the Prime Minister's Office are slated to be raised.
But as Kharge was persistent, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said issues of national security should not be brought into controversy.
Most opposition members, including those from Congress, TMC, Left, RJD then staged a walkout. 
"It is sad that you raised the issue like this," Mahajan said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar attacked the Opposition over the matter, saying they should not do politics over martyrdom of soldiers, drawing protests from the Opposition benches.
When the House assembled in the morning, Opposition members raised slogans and rushed into the Well demanding a debate on demonetisation under rules which entail voting, forcing an adjournment till noon.
After the House reassembled, leaders of several Opposition parties, including Mallikarjun Kharge (Cong) and Sudip Bandhopadhyay (TMC), said they were willing to withdraw their demand that the debate be held under Rule 56, which deals with an adjournment motion, and said the government should also not insist on Rule 193 which does not involve voting at the end of the debate.
Biju Janata Dal also sided with the Opposition and rejected the government's contention with its leader Bhartruhari Mahtab saying the division of votes was not on black money but the hardships facing people and states following the decision. 
Kharge told the Speaker "you decide on any rule that involves discussion and voting. We are ready. We are not running away from debate." He drew support from Bandopadhyay. 
Expressing the government's view, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the people stood with the Narendra Modi government on its action against black money and a divided message should not go out of Parliament on the issue. 
"It should not appear that Parliament is against the measures being taken against black money," he said. 
Taking a dig at the government, Mahtab wondered who is dividing Parliament. 
"It is neither the Leader of Opposition, nor the TMC leader... We are demanding a discussion on the predicament people are facing after demonetisation. Every citizen, every state is going through hardships," he said, noting that his party has supported the demonetisation move.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said if the debate is about hardships facing people, then there is no need for division of votes and the debate should start immediately.
Mahajan suggested that a debate should begin in the Zero Hour and Parliament will try to find "something out of the zero" as both sides are divide on rules.
However, the Opposition members trooped into the Well as it became clear that the government was not agreeable to their demand.
"It shows you don't want discussion," the Speaker said as she adjourned the House till 1245 hours.

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