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Price rise forces Rajya Sabha adjournment for second day

New Delhi, Feb 24 (Calcutta Tube) An incensed opposition Wednesday forced three adjournments of the Rajya Sabha, the last one for the day, as it demanded a discussion on rising prices of essential commodities under a rule that requires voting. This was the second successive day that the house proceedings were disrupted.

The trouble began when the house assembled at 11 a.m. with S.S. Ahluwalia and other members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding that the discussion be held under rules 167 and 168 and not as a short duration discussion as the government had agreed to.

A discussion under the two rules requires not only voting but also that the sense of the house on the topic under discussion be recorded.

Chairman Hamid Ansari’s repeated pleas for letting question hour proceed fell on deaf ears, even as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan stressed that the government had accepted the opposition’s demand on Monday for a short duration discussion, a stance that was modified on Tuesday.

‘We are ready for a discussion. Let question hour be suspended and let the discussion begin right now,’ Chavan said amidst the din.

With the opposition in no mood to relent, Ansari adjourned the house till 12 noon.

The disturbances continued when the house reassembled but Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan called for official papers to be laid before adjourning the proceedings till 2 p.m.

When the house met again, Ahluwalia began reading out a motion asking for a discussion under rules 167 and 168 but Khan abruptly adjourned the house for half-an-hour.

The protests, though slightly muted, continued when the house met at 2.30 p.m. and Khan called on Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee to lay a copy of her budget for 2010-11 on the table of the house before adjourning the session till 11 a.m. on Thursday.

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