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Parliament fails to function 14th day in a row

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 March 2018 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, March 22: Parliament failed to transact any business on Thursday for the 14th consecutive day and both Houses had to be adjourned amid pandemonium by various parties over different issues, leaving the no-confidence motion in a limbo. Meanwhile, the government tried to reach out to the floor leaders of different parties to break the logjam that has bedevilled the second part of the budget session.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Thursday, amid protests as opposition members trooped near the Speaker’s podium, raising slogans and displaying placards. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan first adjourned the House till 12 p.m., minutes after the House met for the day. Members from the Telanga Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the AIADMK trooped near the Speaker’s podium as soon as the House assembled. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anth Kumar said the government was ready to debate all issues including the no-confidence motion.

“I again appeal to you to go to your place and let the House run. We are ready for debate on any issues... on banking irregularities and also the no-confidence motion. If the House runs, all issues can be discussed,” he said. Mahajan said she could not take up the motion amid protests as she was not able to count the 50 members. The Rajya Sabha witnessed similar scenes and was adjourned for the day shortly after it met in the morning. However, the government maged to pass a key legislation in the upper House that empowers it to fix the period of maternity leave and the tax-free gratuity amount of employees with an executive order.

The AIADMK, the TDP and the opposition members came near the Chair’s podium as usual, flaunting placards and shouting slogans. Chairman M. Venkaiah idu asked the agitating members to return to their seats, saying he could not understand why they were creating “ugly scenes” through their conduct. “People are saying as to why the Chairman is adjourning the House. I want to tell them that I don’t want these ugly scenes to be seen by the people. That is why I have been adjourning,” he said amid the chaos. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said that it was everyone’s responsibility to run the House. “The way this bill (Gratuity bill) has been passed, the other bills should also be passed. There is a long list of business, the other bills need to be passed too. The government is ready for discussion on every issue,” he said amid pandemonium. At one point, both idu and Goel were speaking simultaneously over the din being created by the sloganeering members. When the agitating MPs refused to relent, idu adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier, the Upper House unimously passed the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, moved by Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, by voice vote without any discussion. Gangwar had requested the members to pass the “important” Bill quickly as the House was not in order to hold any discussion on the legislation. But as soon as the Bill was passed, members belonging to the AIADMK, the TDP and the Congress gathered near the Chairman’s podium and began shouting slogans.

The Congress, Trimool and other opposition parties members have been protesting against the rejection of their notices by the Chair for discussion on the Punjab tiol Bank fraud under an adjournment motion. They are also demanding extradition of diamondtaire Nirav Modi who is at the centre of the fraud.

The TDP and the YSR Congress have been demonstrating for special status to Andhra Pradesh. The AIADMK has been demanding the setting up of a board for the magement of the disputed Cauvery river water.

Later in the day, Goel, who has been assigned the task to talking to opposition leaders, met Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam bi Azad for a brief discussion. He said he would again meet Azad to discuss the issues in detail and also meet leaders of the TDP, AIADMK, TRS and other parties.(IANS)

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