NDA MPs to forego 23 days of salary to protest Parliament disruptions

NDA MPs to forego 23 days of salary  to protest Parliament disruptions
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New Delhi, April 4: Members of Parliament from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will forego their salary and allowances for 23 days to protest the current impasse in Parliament due to opposition disruptions.
Union parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said the MPs of the NDA, which includes the BJP and several of its allies, would give up their salary for the disrupted period of the Budget session.
Kumar said the Congress’s undemocratic politics was to blame for the disruptions in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. “We’re ready to talk about all the issues but they are not letting the houses function,” Kumar said.
“This money is given to serve the people and if we are not able to do so we have no right to take the people’s money,” he added.
Both Houses of Parliament have seen disruptions on consecutive days during this Budget session over issues such as the CBSE paper leak, Cauvery and special status to Andhra Pradesh.
On Wednesday afternoon, leaders of 13 Opposition parties met and urged the government and the presiding officers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to allow discussion on issues being raised by them, saying they were willing to extend the Budget session to pass the government’s legislative agenda.
The Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned 10 times in a row during the day amid protests against the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill.
Meanwhile, leaders of at least 15 Opposition parties are slated to hold protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament on Thursday on various issues, including banking scam, SC/ST issue and CBSE Paper leak.
This comes as the Budget session of Parliament is headed for a washout. Apart from the passage of the Union Budget, no major Bill has been cleared during the session.
Among the important bills pending in Parliament during the session are triple talaq bill, Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 and National Medical Commission Bill, 2017.
The government, however, pushed two bills – The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill and The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, for passage amid din with the Lok Sabha passing them with a voice vote without debate.
Since March 5, when Parliament had met after a recess, the Lok Sabha has seen disruptions on a daily basis. Amid the din, the Finance Bill and the appropriation bills were yesterday passed by the House without discussion.
Recently, Ananth Kumar had hit out at the Congress for Parliament impasse, saying, “It seems (Congress leaders) Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi don’t believe in democracy. They speak outside (the house) on democracy but don’t practice it in Parliament. The Congress(men) doesn’t have democracy in their genes.”
He had asked other parties to discuss the pending bills constructively.
“We have included all important issues in the list of business. We have also issued a three-line whip to all our MPs. We request all the parties to let the house function and hold constructive discussions,” the Minister had said. (Agencies)