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Budget Session: Govt agrees to 2 1/2-hour debate on price rise

Budget Session: Govt agrees to 2 1/2-hour debate on price rise

New Delhi: The Budget Session of Parliament Monday started on a tempestuous note with members belonging to several Opposition parties storming the Well in the Lok Sabha protesting against inflation and hike in rail fares and prices of petrol, diesel and LPG.

The issues of price rise and rail fare hike disrupted proceedings in Lok Sabha on the opening day of the Budget session Monday with Opposition insisting on a discussion on the matter through adjournment motions.

After two adjournments in the House, the Narendra Modi government finally relented and agreed to discuss the price rise issue without voting. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has allotted two and a half hours in the Lok Sabha today for the debate.

Speaker had earlier rejected the notices for adjournment motions but said she was ready to have special discussion under Rule 193 that does not entail voting.

Trouble started as soon as the Question Hour began, with members of Congress, Trinamool Congress, RJD, SP, Aam Aadmi Party and the Left trooping into the Well raising the issues of price rise and rail fare hike.

Mahajan's repeated pleas to allow the questions to be taken up went unheeded, leading to adjournment of the House for nearly 40 minutes till noon.

When the House re-assembled, similar scenes were witnessed.

Congress Deputy Leader Amarinder Singh said his party was pushing for the motion in view of the government's "failure" to check skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, including pulses and vegetables, hurting the common man.

"Why can't we have a discussion on the issue like in Rajya Sabha which suspended Question Hour to take up the discussion," Singh asked.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the government has nothing to hide and was ready for discussion on the matter under Rule 193.

The Speaker observed that she would not allow adjournment motion either on price rise or rail fare hike but was ready to have a discussion under Rule 193.

As agitating members were not satisfied, the Speaker said, "so you don't want the Zero Hour also" and adjourned the House at around 1215 hours till 1400 hours.


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