Parliament logjam to end; price rise discussion next week

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, July 27: The Parliament logjam is likely to break next week, with the likelihood of the Rajya Sabha taking up the discussion on the issue of price rise.

“A broad understanding in this regard has been arrived today morning in the meetings of Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu with the leaders of Opposition and the concerned ministers,” sources said.

It has been learnt that 10 leaders of Opposition today met Naidu on the issue of suspension of 19 Members of Rajya Sabha yesterday and their demand for discussion on the price rise.

“Stating that the number of suspended Members was on the high side, they suggested that the suspension may be revoked so as to have good attendance in the House. They also suggested that a specific date may be indicated on which the price rise could be discussed.  Some leaders felt that unconditional revocation of suspension would be appropriate,” sources added.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal and MoS (Parliamentary Affairs) Muraleedharan also joined the meeting.

The Ministers recalled that the Government expressed its readiness in the House for such a discussion once the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recovered from the Covid-19 ailment, sources said.

They further informed today that since the Finance Minister returned to office, price rise can be scheduled for discussion any day and the schedule for such a discussion in both the Houses of Parliament will be finalized in consultation with the Speaker of Lok Sabha Om Birla, sources added.

At this juncture, some of the Opposition leaders suggested that the discussion can be scheduled soon after the revocation of the suspension of Members or after the suspension period which is till the end of this week.

While some leaders of Opposition said that any minister could have replied to the discussion earlier on price rise, some others felt that Finance Minister is the most appropriate to do so given the issues involved.

On the issue of suspension of Members, Naidu is learnt to have told the leaders of Opposition parties to understand the agony that the Presiding Officer would go through before naming the erring Members, sources said, adding that he categorically stated that revocation of suspension could be considered if only the erring Members realize the gravity of their misconduct in the House and regret the same.

He further said that such naming and suspensions are resorted to as a last resort to uphold the prestige and dignity of the House.

Naidu urged the leaders to advise respective party members not to disrupt the proceedings of the House.

“Naidu further noted that as many as 19 Members trooping into the Well of the House, shouting slogans and obstructing the proceedings of the House is a matter of serious concern and merit to be acted against,” sources added.

Naidu noted in his interactions with the leaders of the House that as many as 63 Members of Lok Sabha were similarly suspended in 1989 and another 25 in 2015 for persistent violation of the Rules of the House and disruptions.

“The Chairman also had a meeting with the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and enquired about her health and readiness to reply to the debate on the issue of price rise. Naidu also called to his Chamber a Member of the House who was reported to have shot videos of the proceedings of the House and uploaded the same on social media,” sources added.

The Member was told about the infringement of the rules of the House in doing so and was asked not to repeat, sources said, adding that the “concerned Member said that video recording was done only on the first day of the Session and not thereafter and will not do so hereafter”.

Leaders of Opposition who met the Chairman Mallikarjun Kharge and K.C. Venugopal of Congress, Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Derek O`Brien (TMC), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena), Elamaram Kareem(CPM), Binoy Viswam (CPI), Suresh Reddy (TRS) and Vaiko (MDMK).

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