FDI issue: Lok Sabha logjam over after Speaker allows vote

Logjam over FDI, which led to wastage of four days in Lok Sabha, ended today with Speaker Meira Kumar allowing a discussion with voting but Trinamool Congress MPs disrupted the proceedings over LPG cap issue.

As soon as the House met for the day, the Speaker announced her decision to allow a debate on FDI in multi-brand retail under Rule 184 which entails voting and hoped that the House would now function smoothly.

Welcoming Kumar's decision, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj assured her smooth functioning of the House, following which Question Hour was taken up for the first time since the session began last Thursday.

But normalcy prevailed only till noon as Trinamool Congress members stormed the Well displaying placards and raised slogans demanding that 24 subsidised LPG cylinders be given to a family per year instead of six now.

Trinamool members, whose party was part of Congress-led UPA till two months back, also raised anti-government slogans on the issue of 2G spectrum and coal block scams.

The friend-turned-foe of Congress also sought to rub in its opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail with former minister Sultan Ahmed making a personal statement explaining the reasons for his resignation from the government.

Amid thumping of desks by the Opposition, Ahmed said his party was forced to withdraw support to the government as it went ahead on allowing FDI in retail despite giving assurance to Parliament that all stake-holders would be taken into confidence.

His senior party colleague, Saugata Roy, also quoted Lok Sabha rules and urged the Speaker to direct the government to respond to the charges made by Ahmed.

The Speaker refused to give such a direction and continued with the Zero Hour, asking members to raise issues of national importance.

As the members spoke, Trinamool MPs trooped into the Well raising slogans and displaying placards to demand 24 subsidised LPG cylinders to a family instead of the cap of six, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for over 90- minutes.

Rajya Sabha disrupted for fifth day

Proceedings in the Rajya Sabha were washed out for the fifth consecutive day today after uproar over issues of FDI in retail and quota for SCs/STs in promotions in government jobs.

As the House met for the day, BJP members led by Venkaiah Naidu and Ravi Shankar Prasad were on their feet along with others, raising the demand for holding a discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail under a rule that entails voting.

SP members too were on their feet opposing a bill to provide reservation to SCs and STs in promotions in government jobs.

Amid din, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House till noon.

Similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled with members from Samajwadi Party trooping into the Well and shouting slogans against reservation in promotions.

SP members including Ramgopal Yadav, Naresh Agrawal and others were shouting slogans, while members from BSP were on their feet countering them.

As members from both rival parties in Uttar Pradesh kept shouting on the quota issue, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier, when the House met for the day, BJP member Ravi Shankar Prasad sought to know from the government under what rule it proposed to hold discussion on FDI issue.

Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy said the opposition could raise the issue during Zero Hour.

Ansari asked members to take their seats so that Question Hour could be taken up but with members remaining adamant, he adjourned the House till noon.

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