New Delhi: The BJP Monday got a taste of its own medicine as the budget session of parliament got off to a stormy start over the issue of price rise, forcing adjournments in the Lok Sabha and a heated debate in the Rajya Sabha.
A combative Congress party, though truncated, managed to bring the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to its knees in the Lok Sabha as it demanded a discussion under an adjournment motion over the price rise issue.
A discussion on the adjournment motion requires voting and amounts to censure of the government if it is passed.
The lower house was, in fact, adjourned three times, the last time for the day.
Every time the house convened, opposition members led by the Congress trooped near the speaker’s podium, reminiscent of the time when the UPA was in power and the BJP, then in opposition, forced disruptions over many issues, including price rise.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, participating in the discussion in the house said it was over the price rise issue that the BJP had tried to put the then UPA government on the mat during the 15th Lok Sabha.
“The whole election campaign of the BJP was focused on price rise. The prime minister, who was then the campaign committee chief, and all BJP leaders gave slogans on price rise and promised to control it,” he said.
When Finance Minister Arun Jaitley replied to the debate in the upper house, the opposition parties, including the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), staged a walkout.
“Though the first sitting of the session started on a disappointing note in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha was able to undertake a discussion on price rise as well as pass a bill. Hopefully, the Lok Sabha will also get down to serious business soon,” M.R. Madhavan, president of PRS Legislative Research, said.
According to PRS, during the UPA regime, the 15th Lok Sabha had lost 79 percent of its scheduled time to disruptions in the last winter session, while the Rajya Sabha lost 73 percent.
The 15th Lok Sabha had been productive 61 percent of its total time.