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Black money issue rocks parliament

Black money issue rocks parliament

New Delhi: The issue of black money rocked the Lok Sabha on the first working day of parliament's winter session Tuesday, as opposition parties, led by the Trinamool Congress, tried to corner the government on the issue.

As soon as the house met for the day, Trinamool Congress (TMC) members advanced to the speaker's podium with black umbrellas raising slogans on black money.

They were joined by members from the Janata Dal-United, the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and the Samajwadi Party who also raised slogans demanding a response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as to when the black money would be brought back.

Trinamool Congress' Sudip Bandopadhyay said he has given notice for suspension of the question hour to the speaker.

However, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan refused for the suspension of the question hour.

The opposition members, led by the Trinamool Congress then moved near the speaker's podium carrying black umbrellas with "Kaala Dhan Waapas Lao" (Bring back black money) written on them, forcing her to adjourn the house till noon.

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the government was ready for any kind of discussion on the black money issue that was decided upon by the parties.

"They (opposition) just want to obstruct the functioning of the house. Please let the house run. The children of the country are watching you," he said.

Naidu also said that the prime minister was on a visit to a foreign country and it was not proper or dignified to raise slogans against him in this manner.

Outside the house, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters after a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party that his party was committed to bring back black money.

"We are committed and sincere to bring back black money from abroad. Government is fully prepared for a discussion on black money. We are fully prepared to present the facts on the efforts to bring back black money," he said.

When the house met again at noon, work resumed amid din. While opposition members continued to raise slogans, papers were presented and even matters of urgent public importance were taken up by the house.

The government also introduced a bill to amend the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 amid the din.

But when the discussion on the bill was taken up, Congress leader of the house Mallikarjun Kharge got up and said that his party was ready to support the passage of the bill, but not amid din.

"The discussion should be held Wednesday and we will cooperate," he said.

Naidu, however, did not accept this and said the bill should be allowed to be discussed Tuesday itself.

Following this, the Congress, Trinamool Congress and all other parties who were protesting on the black money issue staged a walk out in the house.

The TMC members were also seen raising slogans in the Rajya Sabha. A notice for suspension of the question hour so as to take up the debate on black money was also given in the upper house.

Earlier, the TMC members were seen staging a protest outside parliament. They were joined in the protest by the SP, the JD-U and the RJD leaders.

"Modi government promised to bring back black money in 100 days. Almost 200 days are over; they must give an answer now," said TMC's Sukhendu Sekhar.

"Black money was one of the key poll planks in the Lok Sabha elections on which the BJP won, but the government has done nothing on this count since it came to power. We want a threadbare discussion on this," JD-U leader K.C. Tyagi, who gave the notice for discussion to the Rajya Sabha Chairman on his party's behalf, said.

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