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BJP finds itself at receiving end of Opposition ruckus in Lok Sabha

New Delhi, Jul 7 (PTI): The issues of price rise and rail fare hike disrupted proceedings in Lok Sabha on the opening day of the Budget session today with Opposition insisting on a discussion on the matter through adjournment motions.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected the notices for adjournment motions but said she was ready to have special discussion under Rule 193 that does not entail voting. Trouble started as soon as the Question Hour began, with members of Congress, Trinamool Congress, RJD, SP, Aam Aadmi Party and the Left trooping into the Well raising the issues of price rise and rail fare hike.

Mahajan's repeated pleas to allow the questions to be taken up went unheeded, leading to adjournment of the House for nearly 40 minutes till noon.

Slogans like “achha din ayega, mahangai badhayega (good days will come, prices will rise)” and 'roll back rail fare hike' were heard. Members also opposed rise in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was seen standing in the aisle, while his party colleagues Jyotiraditya Scindia, Deepinder Singh Hooda, K C Venugopal and several others were in the Well.

RJD's Pappu Yadav was vociferous in his protest as was TMC's Kalyan Banerjee and most of his party colleagues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the House during the entire period of turmoil along with his senior party and ministerial colleagues L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi was also seated in the front row of the opposition benches.

Amidst the din, the replies to questions given by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar could not be heard.

NCP's Supriya Sule, who was asked to raise a question on unemployment, shouted the government's reply was ”unsatisfactory and bureaucratic”.

When the House re-assembled, similar scenes were witnessed. Congress Deputy Leader Amarinder Singh said his party was pushing for the motion in view of the government's “failure” to check skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, including pulses and vegetables, hurting the common man. ”Why can't we have a discussion on the issue like in Rajya Sabha which suspended Question Hour to take up the discussion,” Singh asked.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the government has nothing to hide and was ready for discussion on the matter under Rule 193.

The Speaker observed that she would not allow adjournment motion either on price rise or rail fare hike but was ready to have a discussion under Rule 193.

As agitating members were not satisfied, the Speaker said, ”so you don't want the Zero Hour also” and adjourned the House at around 1215 hours till 1400 hours.


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