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LS, RS adjourned over uproar on price rise
New Delhi, Jul 27 (IANS):
Published on 28 Jul. 2010 12:06 AM IST
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Parliament got off to a stormy start on the first working day of the monsoon session Tuesday as a united opposition vociferously protested against rising prices of essential commodities and demanded as top priority a debate on the issue.
The noisy protests by the adamant opposition led to repeated disruptions and finally both houses were adjourned for the day.
As the government ruled out the opposition’s demand for adjournment motions that entail voting, opposition MPs refused to let the houses function and threatened to repeat the action Wednesday.
As soon as members assembled at 11 a.m. in both the houses, opposition MPs shouted slogans giving vent to their anger over rising prices. In a setback to the UPA government, members of the SP and the RJD, which support the government from outside, joined the BJP in its protests.
The BSP, which has come to the rescue of the UPA in the past by voting for it on crucial issues, also joined the protests.
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj urged Speaker Meira Kumar to “set aside all the business and accept our adjournment motions and allow a discussion over rising prices, followed by a vote”.
As the members refused to relent in the post-lunch session, the speaker was forced to call it a day.
The scenes in the Rajya Sabha were no different. It was chaos as the BJP and Left MPs did not heed Chairman Hamid Ansari’s repeated pleas to let the house function.
Soon after the new members had taken oath, opposition MPs were up on their feet.
As the MPs reassembled, the morning scenes were replayed. P.J. Kurien, who was in the chair, adjourned the house for the day.
The government has been maintaining that it is ready for a discussion but won’t accept the adjournment motion.
No roll back: Deora
The government ruled out rolling back the hike in fuel prices, junking the demand for such a measure by the Opposition which disrupted proceedings in both houses of Parliament. “Why should the government pay Rs.5,000 crore per quarter for the petrol being used in anyone’s car?” Petroleum Minister Murli Deora asked while speaking to reporters outside Parliament on the Opposition’s demand for a roll-back.
“There has been no hike for last four years and even the hike which has been done is minimal,” he said.
“If they (Opposition) have to unite they must unite for something good,” Deora said, reacting to the opposition’s agitation over the issue.
Blaming the state governments for high rates of taxation on petro products, he said the sales tax on petrol on diesel is as high as 33 and 24.7 per cent respectively. “Some of the state governments are levying sales tax as high as 12.5 per cent on kerosene,” he said.

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