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Cong protest stalls debate on GST Bill in Rajya Sabha


New Delhi:  Vociferous protests by Congress today once again stalled discussion in Rajya Sabha on the constitution amendment bill for GST, even as the Chair asked protesting members to allow discussion on the bill saying it was their ‘baby’ and termed the protest as “undemocratic”.

Soon after the House met after two adjournments and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved the Constitution amendment bill for Goods and Services Tax (GST) for discussion, Congress members stormed the Well shouting a resounding ‘No’.

As Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked members that since the Bill was moved yesterday, it was time for discussion now, the Congress members shouted slogans and encircled the Well, leading to adjournment of the House for the day.

Protesting Congress members had yesterday too blocked a debate on the bill. The Monsoon Session to ends tomorrow.

Earlier, Congress forced two adjournments of the Upper House in the pre-lunch session as its members and those of CPI(M) and JD(U) strongly objected to some business houses asking Parliament to function and sought a response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues.

Before adjourning the House for the day, Kurien told agitating Congress members “this is your bill. You shouting members, GST is your bill. It is a baby of Congress party. If you want, you can vote against the bill … no one is preventing you (from voting)”, adding that the bill was introduced by the earlier UPA government.

Disapproving the conduct of the Congress members stalling a debate on the bill, Kurien said “this is undemocratic. This is an affront on the Parliamentary democracy. I don’t approve of this. I totally disapprove with this.”

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also asked the Chair to remove the protesting members from the Well. He even sought their suspension for stalling the proceedings.

“This is hooliganism by Congress members. This is anarchy to stall the progress and growth of the country. … They are against country’s progress and want to stall it. In democracy, such hooliganism will not be allowed. This is a conspiracy against country’s development. They should be removed from the Well and suspended,” he said.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury attacked the government for “using” the media and business leaders to attack the opposition for the disruptions in Parliament.

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