Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Opposition plea for adjournment motion rejected

A united Opposition, which persisted in its demand for an adjournment motion on the issue of price rise on Wednesday in the Lok Sabha, failed to pin down the government as Speaker Meira Kumar rejected it saying that it did not involve failure of the government in discharging its duties.

Opposition parties created an uproar in the post-lunch session on hearing the rejection of their demand, forcing adjournment of the House for the day.

Amid ruckus, Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken rose to introduce the statutory resolution for extension of President's rule in Jharkhand, but he could not be heard. The Chair adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier in the day, the Speaker set aside the Question Hour and allowed the Opposition leaders to put forward their arguments as to why they wanted to bring in an adjournment motion.

“I appreciate the concern expressed by the Opposition over price rise. The House certainly has the right to discuss it. Adjournment motion can be attracted only in case of failure of the government to perform constitutional and legal duties. That is not the case here,” Ms. Kumar said.

She held that in the present case, the decision taken by the government (on prices) was an exercise of its executive power, the merit of which cannot be considered by the Chair, but the House has full authority to discuss it.

Notices for the motion were given by a number of Opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Janata Dal (United), Biju Janata Dal, Telugu Desam Party, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Forward Bloc, All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party.Making out a case for allowing the adjournment motion, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, said the motion was perfectly in order and within the ambit of the rules, focussing on increase in the prices of kerosene and LPG cylinders.

“We definitely want to censure this government, which came to power on the slogan of ‘aam aadmi,' but is now punishing the same common man. We have the support of all parties, including the allies of the UPA [United Progressive Alliance] government,” she said.

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh said that about 90 per cent people in the country had been hit hard by the rising prices and the Opposition members, as elected representatives, were only expressing their agony. “When there is no shortage of foodgrains and sugar, why are the prices of essential commodities going up,” he asked.

In the Rajya Sabha, noisy scenes were witnessed as members pressed for a discussion on the issue that entails voting, leading to the adjournment for the second day.


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