Speaker rejects vote on price rise; Oppn plans joint fight

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 30 2010, 05:04am hrs
On day-two of the wrangle over the mode of discussion on price-rise, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar ruled out the admission of an adjournment motion, but the Opposition responded by only raising the pitch of its protest. The Opposition-camp, divided in to the NDA and non-NDA blocs, chalked out separate plans to take on the government. The NDA planned a disruption of proceedings of both Houses, followed by a march to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to petition the President on the issue. On the other hand, Left parties and their fellow-travellers like the Biju Janata Dal, AIADMK and TDP, decided to stage a dharna at the Parliament. They planned entering the House later, hoping that by that time NDA members would ensure the adjournment for the day.

Efforts were still afoot to get both Opposition camps together. NDA convenor Sharad Yadav was in touch with Left parties to ensure a joint fight. We would consult all those who had given notices for the admission of an adjournment motion and announce our plan tomorrow morning, BJP deputy leader Gopinath Munde said. However, Left parties had their own compulsions to steer a different path. Unlike NDA partners, they had to contend with the Trinamool Congress in the wake of a notice given by its senior member Sudip Bandyopadhyay for a discussion under Rule 193. In no case did the Left parties want to boycott the House and let the Trinamool Congress get an opportunity to initiate the debate. At the same time, they could not let the NDA to claim the non-Congress space either. Therefore, the Left had planned the dharna, but without a boycott of proceedings.

Sources said now the discussion could be held under Rule 193. The Speaker could take congnisance of the notice by Bandyopadhyay tomorrow itself or wait for notices from Opposition parties. The sources claimed that there were indications from the Left-camp that it would participate in a debate under Rule 193.

Though the government breathed easy with the adjournment motion possibility over, opposition parties expressed their sense of disappointment over the ruling. It is unfortunate, Munde said. Sharad Yadav said repeated rulings implied that the Lok Sabha would never take up an adjournment motion.

While rejecting the notices, the Speaker she appreciated the concern expressed by the Opposition over price-rise. However, the adjournment motion can only be extracted in case of faliure of the government to perform its consitutional and legal duties. The opposition members came in to the well in protest the moment the Speaker gave her ruling. The Speaker, thereupon adjourned the House for the day.