Insists on an apology from Modi for accusing it (oppn) of helping black money holders
New Delhi: A determined Prime Minister Modi on Thursday wanted to open up in the Rajya Sabha by joining the debate on demonetisation, but an equally determined Opposition did not allow it to proceed by creating a ruckus and demanding his apology first for his repeated black money jibe on them outside Parliament.
He even turned up after the lunch recess, indicating his keenness to join the debate and nail the Opposition”s lie that he was escaping since he had no answers for putting people to the grave hardships by demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in a single stroke.
Venkaiah Naidu even chided the Opposition for running away from the debate and asserted that the PM is here and he will intervene as and when required. The Opposition, however, rushed into the well, creating a ruckus with slogans and that forced Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn for the day.
Modi had turned up at noon for the question hour, Thursday being the day for questions on portfolios he holds. Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the demonetisation debate that began on November 16 was held up all these days since the PM was not coming to answer questions on the matter, but the debate can start only after he explains and apologises for accusing the Opposition of supporting the black money holders at least in two meetings.
The ruling and Opposition benches clashed even as Chairman Hamid Ansari had a word with Naidu, calling him to his chair, and announced suspension of question hour to start the debate. BJD member A U Singh Deo even started speaking on his direction, but a pandemonium forced him to adjourn for 15 minutes.
The Prime Minister kept sitting during the adjournment and had a word with whosoever came to meet him. He, however, showed an apparent arrogance when he did not get up from his chair
to greet two senior AIADMK MPs who came to speak to him, just greeting them with a handshake as with others. None from the Opposition, however, went to his desk, showing a kind of enmity he has earned.
The chairman invited ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi as also Azad to his chamber during the adjournment to explore if the House could be brought to order to resume debate. He, however, adjourned for the lunch break on seeing another bout of ruckus from the Congress members sloganeering in the well.
Modi was back in the House after the recess, but the Opposition members again rushed into the well demanding “Maafi” (apology) from him for accusing them of helping the black money hoarders. The House was ultimately adjourned for the day.
Deputy Chairman Kurien, however, made repeated efforts to get the debate started, reprimanding the Opposition that it was stalling it all these days demanding that the PM should come to the House and answer them and it was not allowing the debate when the PM is already there. What else you want, he asked the Opposition.