New Delhi, Aug 1 (PTI): The government has agreed for a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on rising prices of essential commodities on Tuesday, as the Opposition Congress and other parties disrupted proceedings over the arrest of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and other issues.
When the House re-assembled at noon for Question Hour, the Opposition parties continued with their protests as several MPs reached the well of House and raised slogans against the central dispensation.
However, Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was in the Chair, went ahead with the Question Hour.
As sloganeering continued, Leader of the House and Union minister Piyush Goyal appealed to the protesting members to allow legislative business and Question Hour to function smoothly as the debate on price rise is listed in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
“They have been demanding a discussion on price rise and it is listed today in the Lok Sabha and in Rajya Sabha tomorrow at 2 pm.
“The Opposition had collectively assured us once the date is finalised and listed, we will allow the House to run properly. Many members have important issues and I appeal to members from the Opposition to allow the House to function smoothly,” he said.
Referring to the arrest of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities, Goyal said, “We are lawmakers, not law breakers. Those who break the law will face the consequences of the law. I would appeal to them, let law take its own course.”
The government cannot interfere in the work of enforcement agencies, he said, and added, “They are doing their job. I appeal to the Opposition to allow the House to run so that important legislative business is taken up.”
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Raut in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai ‘chawl’ after conducting a nine-hour search at his residence.
When the Chair requested the protesting members to maintain order in the House, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge rose and said the government has not taken note of the notices seeking discussion on various developments in states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra and Assam.
He also alleged that the Centre was destabilising the elected government in the state.
Goyal again appealed to the protesting side to allow the House to function smoothly.
Three questions related to Khadi, street vendors’ contribution to the country’s GDP as well as cleanliness and development of rivers, were taken up amid the din.
It was at around 12.40 pm that the proceedings were again adjourned till 2 pm.
Before adjourning the proceedings, Kalita told the protesting members that the Leader of Opposition (Kharge) has demanded discussion on the issue of price rise and the leader of the House (Goyal) has informed that the discussion would be taken up on Tuesday.
Protesting members did not yield to Kalita’s request for order in the House, leading to adjournment.
The House during the morning session, which started at 11 am, was adjourned for similar reasons for about an hour.