Opposition, including BJP, Left and other parties, today walked out of Lok Sabha, charging the government with indulging in one scam after another and saying they would not be party to the passage of the Finance Bill and the Railway Budget.
The Opposition protest came after Speaker Meira Kumar announced that the money bills would be passed without discussion, as decided by leaders of parties at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee yesterday.
Maintaining that it had earlier been decided that discussion on the Budget would be taken up on April 23, she said, “However, under the prevailing circumstances as there is very limited time for completion of the financial business, ... as was decided at the BAC yesterday, the Finance Bill, Appropriations Bills, Demand for Grants and the Rail Budget.... may be passed without discussion.”
This led to objections by leaders of several parties with senior Trinamool Congress leader Sougata Roy raising a point of order saying the rules did not permit passage of money bills without any discussion.
Amid protests, Kumar then allowed Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj to speak. Her speech was followed by a walkout by BJP and Shiv Sena members.
Those from other parties, including JD(U), Left parties, AIADMK, DMK, BJD, TDP and Trinamool Congress also walked out separately, after their leaders had their say.
Lambasting the government for scams, Swaraj said each new scandal broke the past record and justified the week-long protests by BJP and other parties, saying as a responsible Opposition it was their job to expose the “most corrupt government since independence”.
“This government wants that we don't raise these issues. They don't just commit scams but also engage in various acts to protect the Prime Minister and the Law Minister,” she said, with Congress members shouting back at her.
“The government is criticising our protests in Parliament. The Prime Minister says the Opposition's attitude is making us a laughing stock on the global arena. The media says this House has witnessed the highest number of disruptions. But the government itself is solely responsible for this situation,” Swaraj said.
Swaraj blamed the government for stalling the PAC report on