Oppn to Protest Against Price Rise at 10 am in Parl Complex; Union Cabinet to Meet at 1 pm

disrupting proceedings for the second consecutive day of the Monsoon session.

Outside Parliament, the government and the opposition accused each other of running away from debate on critical issues facing the country. Congress MP Jairman Ramesh alleged that the government was acting “stubborn”, but Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan hit back, saying opposition parties were creating a “ruckus” as do not want any meaningful debate in Parliament and only wish to blame the government outside the House.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the government over the issues of price rise, hike in GST rates and depreciating value of the rupee and alleged that it is “unparliamentary” on the part of the prime minister to not answer questions and “run away from a discussion” in Parliament. Though the two Houses could not transact any significant business, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar moved the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022, amid the din.

The minister said there is a need to amend the WMD Act, 2005 to enact legal provisions relating to the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. As soon as Lok Sabha assembled at 11 am, opposition members belonging to the Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC), DMK and others gathered in the well of the House with placards against the imposition of the GST on some new items and raised slogans against the Modi government over the issue of price rise.

The placards read Gabbar Singh Strikes Again among others. The opposition has been calling GST the “Gabbar Singh Tax”, alleging that it has been a cruel blow to traders and consumers alike. Speaker Om Birla appealed to the opposition members to return to their seats and said carrying placards inside the House was against parliamentary rules.

You carry rules book but don’t follow rules. The rules prohibit carrying placards here but you are carrying them. You raise farmers’ issues outside the House but not inside. You raise the issue of price rise outside the House but not inside. In the last session, you did not participate in the debate on price rise. This is not good, 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. As soon as the House reassembled at 2 pm, opposition members again trooped into the well. After papers were laid on the table by the members, Kirit Premjibhai Solanki, who was on the chair adjourned the House for the day.

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