Sunday, August 14, 2022

Parl witnesses Opposition ruckus over GST, price rise

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday witnessed protests by opposition members over imposition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on certain packaged food items and on the issue of price rise, leading to the adjournment of proceedings till 2 pm.
As soon as the House assembled at 11 am, opposition members belonging to the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK and others came to the well of the House carrying placards against the imposition of the GST on some new items.
They raised slogans against the Modi government over the issue of price rise. The placards read “Gabbar Singh Strikes Again”.
The opposition has been describing the GST as Gabbar Singh Tax, referring to the Bollywood blockbuster Sholay’s villain Gabbar Singh, who used to illegally collect taxes from the villagers in the film.
Speaker Om Birla appealed to the opposition members to go to their seats and said carrying of placards inside the House is against rules.
He said since the House is discussing farmers’ issue, the members should participate in it.
“You carry rules book but don’t follow rules. The rules prohibit carrying placards here but you are carrying them. You raise farmers issue outside the House but not inside…,” Birla said.
As the opposition members did not pay any heed to the Speaker’s appeal, he adjourned the House till 2 pm after about 15 minutes of proceedings.
Rajya Sabha proceedings in the pre-lunch session on Tuesday were adjourned without transacting any business as opposition parties, including the Congress, pressed for an immediate discussion on issues ranging from price rise to the Agnipath scheme.
Members of the Congress, Left, and AAP insisted on a discussion on the issues, forcing adjournment of proceedings till 2 pm.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu rejected notices given by Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and other leaders under rule 267 that calls for setting aside the business of the day to take up the issues listed by them.
“I am not admitting them,” Naidu said soon after the listed papers were laid on the table.
Opposition members insisted on a discussion on the issues.
Naidu asked members to resume their places and ordered that nothing that they speak would go on record. Soon after, he adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
The Congress on Tuesday held a protest over the issue of price rise in Parliament complex here, a day after the Goods and Services Tax on packaged food items such as milk and curd came into force.
Besides Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, some opposition MPs including Supriya Sule of the NCP, Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi party and Priyanka Chaturvedi of the Shiv Sena were present during the protest held in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament complex.
Raising slogans against the government, the Congress members demanded a rollback in prices of LPG.
They also held banners and placards which read that “high inflation, continuous price rise badly affecting common people”.
The Congress whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore said opposition members led by his party wanted a discussion on price rise and GST but the government did not allow and the speaker adjourned the House till 2 pm.
“We will raise the same when the House reconvenes. Why is the government afraid about holding the discussion,” he asked.


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