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After repeated disruptions, Rajya Sabha adjourned for day

After repeated disruptions since morning over the currency note row, the Rajya Sabha was on Tuesday finally adjourned for the day without transacting any of its scheduled business.

As the House met at 2 p.m. after the lunch break, Congress member Kapil Sibal again raised the issue of two different sizes and designs of Rs 500 notes and his party members came near the Chairman’s podium raising slogans against the government.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien subsequently adjourned the House till 2.30 p.m.

But as soon as the House reconvened, slogan-shouting Congress members again trooped towards the podium. Some of the BJP members too came into the aisle and shouted back slogans. Amid the pandemonium, Kurien adjourned the House for the day.

Earlier, as soon as the House met in the morning, Sibal claimed that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was printing two types of Rs 500 currency notes.

“RBI prints two types of currency notes. These are of different size and different design… How is it possible?” he said, displaying images of two Rs 500 denomination notes pasted on a placard.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that the demonetisation was the “biggest scam of this century”.

Other opposition leaders including Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien, Janata Dal-United’s Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Agrawal also sided with the Congress.

BJP Ministers protested against raising the issue citing technical grounds.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is also the Leader of the House, accused the opposition of raising “frivolous” issues day after day.

“There is no such provision that you can flash any paper any time and say this is Point of Order. There are rules under which you give notice. You can’t raise issues with regard to the currency of the nation and make such irresponsible statements.You have been raisng frivolous issues everyday during the Zero Hour,” he said.

As the opposition members created a ruckus and the treasury benches members shouted back, the Chair adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

After the break, the Congress members again trooped to the Chairman’s podium, raising slogans against the government.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that if the members want a discussion, they can give a notice. “You will get the answer,” he said.

But the opposition kept shouting slogans, forcing the Chair to adjourn the House till 12 noon.

The scene was no different when the Question Hour took place at noon. Frustrated Chairman Hamid Ansari first adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes and, then, when there was no improvement in the situation, until 1 p.m.