In a virtual washout of its proceedings, Lok Sabha was adjourned for the seventh consecutive day today with Opposition parties vociferously protesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dig at their protest against demonetisation and demanding an apology from him.
Demanding his presence in the House, Opposition members raised slogans asking Modi to make his statements inside the House and not to attack them outside.
As soon as the House met, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that the Constitution Day would be observed tomorrow and referred to the 8th anniversary of Mumbai terror attacks.
Leader of Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge referred to Modi’s remarks at a function earlier in the day in which he had hit out at the Opposition over demonetisation.
Modi had said opposition parties were attacking him as they did not get time to prepare in advance.
“The issue now is not our demand for an adjournment motion but the remarks of the Prime Minister… He said the Opposition supports black money,” Kharge said as members from various opposition parties rushed to the Well demanding that the PM make a statement in the Lok Sabha.
The Opposition members were heard shouting “Pradhan Mantri sadan mein aao…himmat hai toh sadan mein bolo,” (PM, come to the House. If you have the courage, speak in the House).
Expressing anguish that the Opposition was not ready to help run the House, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for over 35 minutes till noon.
There was no let up in the Opposition’s protests when the House reassembled, even though the Speaker persisted with the Zero Hour for over 35 minutes in which members raised certain issues amid the din.
TMC leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay was allowed to speak when the members of his party withdrew from the Well for a while, but Mahajan did not allow Kharge speak as Congress members continued to shout slogans and remained present in the Well.
Modi’s comments have hurt the Opposition’s feelings, the TMC leader said, demanding that he withdraw them and apologise, drawing protests from treasury benches.
Rejecting Congress members’ demand that Kharge be allowed to speak, she said “you will remain in the Well, shout slogans, tear papers and would like to speak as well. I cannot allow it.”
She adjourned the House for the day as Opposition members including those from the Congress, TMC, Left and RJD continued with their protest and slogan-shouting.