Thursday, June 13, 2024

Parliament logjam continues


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NEW DELHI: The first week of parliament’s winter session ended Friday without transacting any business due to unending protests over inflation, corruption and a separate Telangana, to which was added the government’s decision to allow foreign equity in retail.

This means that first four of the 21 sittings scheduled during the session have been wasted, even as the government eyed the considering and passing of 32 bills, including the crucial anti-graft Lokpal bill. So far, the two houses not considered any new bill.

On Friday when the two houses resumed after three days of protests, it was the government’s decision to allow up to 51 percent foreign equity in multi-brand retailing and 100 percent in the single-brand format that led to the logjam.

Opposition parties forced the adjournment of both houses demanding the rollback of the cabinet decisions and all proceedings have been stalled. At the forefront of the Friday protest was the Trinamool Congress, an ally of the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Trinamool Congress members gathered near Speaker Meira Kumar’s podium to protest the decision as soon as the house met at 11 a.m.

They were joined in by MPs from the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in flaying the government.

MPs from the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the BJP were carrying banners inside the house asking the government to reverse its decision on FDI in retail.

The house also witnessed demonstrations and slogan shouting in favour of separate statehood for the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh.

Congress MPs from the southern region were carrying placards demanding the government table the Telangana bill in the winter session.

Amid the din, Meira Kumar adjourned the house till noon after cancelling the question hour. (IANS)


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