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  India   All India  05 Dec 2016  Note ban: Oppn demands voting in LS, govt puts onus on Speaker

Note ban: Oppn demands voting in LS, govt puts onus on Speaker

Published : Dec 5, 2016, 2:23 pm IST
Updated : Dec 5, 2016, 2:51 pm IST

As regards difficulty in implementation, he said the government is willing to discuss the Opposition's suggestions.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge (Photo: PTI)
 Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The deadlock over the nature of debate on demonetisation persisted for the third week in the Lok Sabha on Monday with Opposition accusing the government of running away from discussion under a rule that entails voting despite the decision causing havoc for the common man.

"Why is the 56-inch afraid? Why is government running away from debate. Don't be afraid of voting. We want voting", chanted Opposition members despite Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressing readiness for an immediate debate, and leaving the issue of the nature of debate to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. The debate on demonetisation has been listed in Monday's agenda under Rule 193.

Attacking the government for the "faulty" execution of demonetisation, Opposition members alleged that a large number of people have died, lakhs rendered unemployed with farmers and traders being the worst hit.

People are unable to get their salary and pension, Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress) and Sudip Bandopadhyay (TMC) said. Kharge said 17 opposition parties have now decided to seek a debate under Rule 184 that also entails voting instead of Rule 56 under which an adjournment motion is taken up.

Putting forth a stout defence, the Home Minister insisted that the decision has been taken in national interest and it would strengthen the economy and curb black money and graft.

As regards difficulty in implementation, he said the government is willing to discuss the Opposition's suggestions and they must start a debate immediately without fussing over rules.

As Congress and TMC members protested, he said even the Opposition ranks were divide over the rule governing the debate as he pointed out that A P Jithender Reddy of TRS had given a notice for discussion under Rule 193, which does not entail voting.

Singh said the decision should be left to the Speaker.

The Speaker wanted members to take up the debate without any rules and said whether to take up division of votes on this or not can be decided later.

This was not acceptable to Opposition members who again stormed the Well chanting slogans and targeting the Prime Minister.

Kharge targeted the government following Singh's statement and wondered if the opposition members raising concerns of farmers and labourers were traitors.

Attacking the government, Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) said 16 people have died in his party-ruled Uttar Pradesh due to demonetisation and alleged that the government had taken the decision on suggestions of big industrialists.

"You should call an all-party meeting. If you had to do it, we should also have been taken into confidence," he said, inviting barbs from treasury benches.

Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav (RJD) said there cannot be 'bahasbandi' (stopping debate) in the name of 'notebandi' (demonetisation), and alleged that 105 people have died so far due to the hardships faced at bank or ATM queues.

Reddy (TRS) said Modi's intention to curb black money was welcome but the decision's implementation is a problem.

"People are facing a lot of problem. Whether under Rule 193 or 184, let there be a debate," he said.

As Opposition members continued with vociferous protests, the Chair adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier, as soon as the House assembled for the day, Kharge said the Opposition was ready to initiate the debate under Rule 184 instead of their original demand for it to be held under Rule 56, and the government must now agree to it.

"We have come down from Rule 56 to Rule 184. Now the government should also come down from Rule 193 and agree to Rule 184," he said.

The government has been maintaining that it was ready for a debate on demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes under Rule 193 that does not entail voting.

Tags: demonetisation, lok sabha, note ban, mallikarjun kharge, rajnath singh
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi