New Delhi, November 24: After a fierce attack by the opposition parties over the notes ban in the parliament today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to keep a mum even on the seventh day of the Winter Session.
Though Finance Minister Arun Jaitely indicated in the house that Prime Minister is willing to have a debate on the demonetisation but PM Modi skipped the house after the lunch break. FM Jaitely however used a lame excuse to counter the absence of Modi and said he is also a human being and cannot sit here for the whole day.
Leading the Congress address, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh started the debate in the morning and stunned Modi with some relevant questions.
He charged Modi for “monumental mismanagement in implementation of demonetisation” while urging PM to find practical ways to give relief to people who are suffering. He said GDP would be hit at least 2 % and all sectors are affected hard due to cash cruch. Taking a dig at PM, Dr Singh asked Modi to name a single country where a citizen can deposit money but can not withdraw.
Modi was tight lipped after Dr Singh’s remarks. He left the house without any dialogue. However Modi and Jaitely laughed when Naresh Aggarwal mentioned the level of secrecy government chose for currency ban.
The opposition provoked Modi to speak and it was well expected that PM will reply on currency ban today. Amid immense protest from opposition parties on the issue of demonetisation, the lok sabha was adjourned early in the day while Rajya Sabha adjourned after Modi chose to miss the proceeding after the break.
The opposition shouted: No PM, No debate.
Read More: Parliament Winter Session: Day 7
It would be apt to quote BSP Chief Mayawati to sum up the events of the day. She said outside the parliament: Today, opposition sought a decent success, but it is not complete triumph yet. PM is yet to speak.
CPM described the Modi government as “inhuman” for being blind “to the agonies and sufferings of the people” caused by demonetisation. ”
Sitaram Yechury has served a notice for moving a motion of contempt against the PM for not showing up in the House.
Unmoved PM, missed the house. FM addressed the house afterwards.
Govt wants debate, opposition doesn’t, said Jaitely. He said, “On the first day it was a debate without any pre-conditions, from next day they started putting unreasonable conditions and it continues. It is obvious the opposition is running away from debate.”
As the Rajya Sabha was repeatedly adjourned, while the opposition kept on insisting on Prime Minister’s presence during the entire debate, Mr. Jaitley said the opposition was keen only on disruption and not on debate.
The government had taken the “right steps” and was implementing it in the “right manner” and would defend it, said Jaitely.
Mr. Jaitley rejected the demand for a joint parliamentart committee probe by some Opposition parties, saying there should be some “evidence” or “blame” for initiating such investigation.
Derek O’ Brien directly attacked PM Modi and said “You are a messiah and we are villains.” TMC called the demonetisation decision as a big, black scandal. He also criticised PM for running a fake survey.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, said that if PM Modi wants “a real survey” he should call for fresh national elections.
Modi was center of attack through out the today. SP leader Naresh Agrawal took a jibe at Modi and said there is no threat to your life in Uttar Pradesh.
Though PM chose to skip the proceedings on Thursday, a cabinet meeting is scheduled later in the evening today. The PM’s address is keenly awaited tomorrow. There are important bills lined up in the winter session, which ends on December 18. But the winter session seems to be in dark amid the opposition to demonitisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and PM’s chosen absence from the debate.