Parliament proceedings washed out for 7th day in a row

Opposition members protest during the ongoing budget session of Parliament at the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Monday | PTI

Members from TDP, which quit the central government last week but remains part of the ruling NDA, were demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh.

Both Question Hour and Zero Hour could not be taken up as scores of members from the TDP, Congress, AIADMK, TRS and Trinamool Congress trooped into the well.

The Lok Sabha was disrupted on Monday amid continuing protests by the opposition over the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and other issues, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the House till noon.

The government had listed the Finance Bill, Appropriation Bills and a vote on all the outstanding demands for grants in respect of the Budget 2018-19, called "Guillotining" in parliamentary parlance, in the revised list of business of the Lok Sabha for Tuesday. Since the legislation is a money bill, the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP lacks the numbers, has no power to hold it up and is obligated to return it to the Lok Sabha in two weeks. However, the members in the Well, including those from TDP and AIADMK, continued to raise slogans and displaying placards.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien repeatedly asked the agitating members to go back to their seats, but they did not relent.

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The BJP is likely to use its brute majority to push the finance bill through the Lok Sabha as opposition protests have washed out house proceedings for seven straight days.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar hit out at Congress for the parliament impasse. They speak outside (the house) on democracy but don't practice it in Parliament. "Congress doesn't have democracy in their genes".

"We will wait to see whether the opposition decides against or for undertaking legislative business in Parliament". We have also issued a three-line whip to all our MPs. But Naidu said a discussion can be allowed under rule 176, which was not acceptable to the protestors. If this is the way MPs are behaving, I will adjourn the House.

"They (the government) are finding excuses to avoid discussing the Nirav Modi and PNB scandal", he said. In the Lower House, MPs shouted slogans such as "we want justice".


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