The 16-day long deadlock over demonetisation in the Lok Sabha deepened on Friday with government hitting back at agitating opposition and demanding its apology for paralysing Parliament, trigerring fresh round of protests.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge rose to make some points but BJP members latched on to President Pranab Mukherjee‘s certain observation made yesterday, to target the opposition party.
Soon, a verbal spat broke out between the two sides and the Speaker adjourned the House till 1130 hours.
When the House met again, Kharge said the Opposition was ready for debating demonetisation and has been continuously requesting for it. “We are ready for debate on demonetisation and its repercussions,” he said.
However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar immediately shot back saying the Opposition has disrupted the House for 16 days and held it to ransom and they must tender an apology.
“For 16 days they have disrupted the House and held it hostage. Majority wanted to debate. But Congress, TMC and Left members are not allowing the House to function. The situation has reached such a stage that the President had to speak against the disruption. They must tender apology to the people of the country,” he said.
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said for protests and sit-ins, as suggested by the President, Jantar Mantar is the best place and not the Parliament and hence the Opposition must apologise.
BJP veteran L K Advani, who had on Wednesday expressed his displeasure over the continuing impasse in the House, was at one point seen pacifying agitated ruling party members.
As the pandemonium continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon.
The impasse continued when it re-assembled and HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar tabled a bill amid the din before the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.
With four day holiday starting from Saturday, the House will meet again on Wednesday. The session, which has seen very little business being transacted, is scheduled to conclude on Friday next.
Earlier, the House remembered the Parliament attack of 2001 and recalled the courage of 8 Delhi Police, CRPF and Parliament Security Service Personnel who had laid down their lives defending the people inside the Parliament complex. The Speaker took up the matter today as the Lok Sabha will not meet on 13 December.