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Rajya Sabha proceedings washed out, Opposition walkout in Lok Sabha over price rise

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New Delhi, April 4 (PTI): Rajya Sabha proceedings were a washout on Monday as a united Opposition protested pressing for a discussion on rising prices of fuel and essential commodities.

Opposition members also staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha with several of them raising the issue during Zero Hour.

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In the Upper House of Parliament, chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow adjournment notices moved by Opposition members on the issue of price rise, prompting members of the Congress, TMC, left parties, DMK, AAP, NCP, RJD and Shiv Sena to create an uproar.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice during the pre-lunch period and was adjourned soon after it met after lunch.

Soon after the laying of papers, Naidu said he had received notices from several members under Rule 267 to discuss issues of price rise, including prices of petrol, diesel, and LPG, and said the issue has already been discussed during the debate on the Finance Bill and the Appropriation Bill.

The chairman also informed that Deepender S Hooda (Congress) too had given a notice to discuss the resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly regarding transfer of the Union Territory of Chandigarh. This notice too was not admitted by the chair.

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“…Rule 267 is not the appropriate rule (for such discussions), so there is no question of accepting (the notices),” he said.

As he disallowed the notices, opposition members started protesting and were on their feet demanding a discussion, forcing the chairman to adjourn the House till 12 noon.

Members who had given notice for suspension of the business under Rule 267 were Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Binoy Viswam (CPI), Abir Ranjan Biswas (TMC), and K C Venugopal (Congress).

When the House met again at 12 noon, Opposition members were on their feet and trooped into the well raising slogans.

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Sasmit Patra, who was in the chair, pleaded with the protesting members to return to their seats and allow the Question Hour to function, but Opposition members were unrelenting and the chair was forced to adjourn the House till 2 PM.

When the house met after lunch at 2 PM, Opposition members again began protesting and trooped into the well.

While TMC leader Derek O’Brien wanted the House to take up the issue of reservation for women in the House, the Chair tried to bring order in the House and called Labour minister Bhupender Yadav to reply to a discussion of the working of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

However, as the Opposition members continued with their protests and raised their demand for a discussion on price rise, he adjourned the House for the day.

Opposition members, including those from the Congress, TMC and Shiv Sena, on Monday walked out of the Lok Sabha protesting against fuel price hike.

As soon as the Zero Hour began, DMK members trooped into the Well shouting slogans. Later, members from other opposition parties too stormed the Well raising the issue of fuel price rise.

As Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the chair continued to run the Zero Hour, Congress, DMK, TMC, Left parties, Shiv Sena and NCP staged a walk out.

Opposition members have been demanding a discussion on rising prices of petrol, diesel and LPG for a few days and have been giving adjournment notices in both houses.

Petrol prices were hiked for the 12th time in the last 14 days as global crude oil prices rose. In all, petrol prices have gone up by Rs 8.40 per litre in the past two weeks.

Congress chief whip in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh later said, “Today the combined opposition forced an adjournment of the Rajya Sabha for the entire day on the issue of continuing hike in petrol, diesel, cooking gas, and also increase in prices of other essential commodities, especially edible oil and fertilisers.”

Addressing the press outside Parliament, BJP leader and Union minister Bhupender Yadav said Opposition members creating ruckus in Rajya Sabha reflected their insensitivity to issues of labourers and even towards senior leaders in their ranks as they did not let former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda speak in the House.

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