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Lok Sabha: Opposition Protests Price Rise, ‘Misuse’ of Central Agencies, Wave Placards

Opposition parties write to President Murmu, seek her intervention in alleged “misuse” of Central agencies by government.
Opposition MPs holding placards stage a protest over inflation, 5% GST on essential items and other issues in the Well of Lok Sabha

Opposition MPs holding placards stage a protest over inflation, 5% GST on essential items and other issues in the Well of Lok Sabha.  Image Courtesy: ANI

New Delhi: Opposition members on Tuesday forced adjournments in the Lok Sabha over the issue of price rise and the "misuse" of Central agencies by the government.

The issue of alleged misuse of agencies figured on a day when Congress president Sonia Gandhi was being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper.

As soon as the House assembled at 11 am, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla paid tributes to soldiers on ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’.

Soon Opposition members trooped to the Well of the House raising slogans and waving placards on the issue of high inflation and the Goods and Services Tax on some essential commodities leading to adjournment till 11:45 am.

A few placards carried by opposition members had the picture of Gandhi with ‘Satyameva Jayate’ written on it.

"The rule of ED will not be tolerated," some opposition members said.

Congress members were in the well carrying placards seeking roll back of GST rates and prices of essential commodities and petroleum products.

"I will allow you to speak during Zero Hour. Please go back to your seats and take part in the proceedings," the speaker said.

Birla appealed to the members not to disrupt the House proceedings.

However, the Opposition ignored his appeal.

As the House re-assembled at 11:45 am, DMK members trooped to the Well of the House raising slogans demanding revocation of suspension of four Congress members. NCP member Supriya Sule was seen raising slogans from her seat.

Congress members had walked out of the House and participated in a march to Rashtrapati Bhawan against the “misuse” of central agencies to target opposition leaders.

BJP member Rajendra Agarwal, who was in the chair, took up the Question Hour and later allowed laying of papers on the table of the House. As the protests continued, the House was adjourned till 2 pm.

The Opposition has been protesting and disrupting the proceedings since the beginning of the Monsoon Session of Parliament on July 18.

Four Congress members — Manickam Tagore, Ramya Haridas, T N Prathapan and S Jothimani – were on Monday suspended for the rest of the session for protests and carrying placards inside the House.

Opposition parties write to President

Leaders of several opposition parties on Tuesday wrote to President Droupadi Murmu, alleging the "misuse" of Central agencies by the government to target the opposition and sought her intervention.

In a letter to the President, the leaders also raised the issue of the "stubborn attitude" of the government, which is not allowing an urgent discussion on the issue of price rise and GST hike that has impacted the proceedings in the Monsoon session so far.

"We are writing to bring to your attention the continued and intensifying misuse of investigative agencies by the Modi Government as part of a systematic vendetta campaign against its political opponents," said the letter, signed by the leaders of the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and CPI(M) among others.

"We request for your immediate intervention in the matter," the leaders added.

Noting that the "law is the law and must be enforced without fear or favour", they said, "But it cannot be used, as it is presently being done, arbitrarily, selectively and without any justification whatsoever against prominent leaders of numerous opposition parties."

"The sole aim of this campaign is to destroy reputations and weaken the forces fighting the BJP ideologically and politically," the opposition leaders said.

It is also being carried out to divert the attention of the people of our country from their most urgent day-to-day concerns of price rise of essential commodities, increasing unemployment and loss of livelihoods and mounting insecurity of life, liberty and property, they said.

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