Opposition leaders protest in Parliament over price rise
Opposition members created a din over the price rise in both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday as the presiding officers denied their demand for an immediate discussion of the “burning issue”.
As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled for Question Hour, Congress House leader Adhir Chowdhury urged Speaker Om Birla to allow a discussion on the rise in the prices of essentials.
Birla disregarded the request, prompting members from the Congress and some other Opposition parties to rush to the well with placards and shout slogans.
After running the House for nearly half an hour amid the din, Birla adjourned proceedings till noon.
The Rajya Sabha witnessed uproar after Chairman Venkaiah Naidu rejected notices from Opposition leaders who had sought suspension of the day’s business to discuss the price rise. Naidu argued that the issue had been raised during the discussion on the Appropriation Bill.
Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, urged the Chairman to allow the discussion keeping in mind the frequent rises in the prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and other essentials.
Trinamul member S.S. Roy requested Naidu to allow at least a short discussion. Telangana Rashtra Samithi member Suresh Reddy said the rising prices had distressed the ordinary citizen. The TRS members later walked out in protest at Naidu’s decision.
The Lok Sabha again witnessed uproarious protests when it reassembled at noon for Zero Hour. Trinamul member Asit Kumar Mal said the price rise was a “burning issue” and the government must provide relief to the people.
“The countrymen are very agitated due to hike in prices of daily commodities,” the Trinamul member said. “I request the Prime Minister to look into the matter very seriously and assure relief to the people.”
The government has agreed to a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the price rise but it hasn’t happened yet. On Tuesday, the Lok Sabha discussed the Ukraine crisis. The price rise is likely to be discussed later this week.
The rise in prices, particularly fuel prices, has intermittently rocked both Houses in the second leg of the budget session.
Demoralised after the defeats in the recent Assembly polls, the Opposition sees the price rise as probably the only issue on which it can corner the government. The government has blamed the rising fuel prices on the Ukraine conflict, an explanation the Opposition has rejected.