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Parliament business stalled over GST issue for third day in a row

Opposition members kept insisting on the rollback of GST on essential commodities carrying placards reading, ‘Gabbar Singh strikes again’ into the Well of the House amidst slogans of ‘take back GST’. They asserted that the struggle will continue from the House to the road if the government does not listen to their voice.

Anjali Bhatia | New Delhi |

On the third day of the monsoon session, both Houses of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, failed to transact any business through the morning hours and were adjourned till 2 pm as Opposition MPs vociferously protested inflation and price rise.

In the Lok Sabha, Speaker Om Birla urged the agitated MPs to take part in “discussions”, saying, “I want to tell those members who are indulging in sloganeering they should take part in discussions. The public wants the Parliament to work.”

However, Opposition members paid no heed to the speaker’s advice and kept insisting on the rollback of GST on essential commodities carrying placards reading, ‘Gabbar Singh strikes again’ into the Well of the House amidst slogans of ‘take back GST’. They said if “the deaf government” does not listen to this voice, the struggle will continue from the House to the road.

Several Opposition MPs, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, staged a protest at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament complex carrying packets of milk, curd, and other food items.

Earlier in the day, Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Smriti Irani lashed out at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over the disruptions, saying he had always shown “disrespect to Parliamentary proceedings”.

“A gentleman whose entire political history has been dotted with showing disrespect to Parliamentary procedure is adamant to bring down the productivity of Lok Sabha,” she contended.

Irani described Gandhi as “politically unproductive”. She said he had less than 40 percent attendance in Parliament.

“Today…(he) is dedicating himself to ensure there’s no debate in Parliament,”

The list of Bills to be discussed in this session includes Cantonment, Development of Enterprises and Services Hubs Bills.

Meanwhile, the AAP urged the Centre to accord adequate representation to Punjab in the Commission for Agriculture Cost and Price (CACP). The CACP is an autonomous body that recommends the government rate of minimum support price (MSP) for 24 agriculture crops

AAP MP, Vikramjit Singh Sahney, called on the government to include a Punjab government representative and experts from the Punjab Agriculture University in the panel recently constituted to make minimum support price for farm produce more effective and transparent.

In a statement, he requested Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to be fair and give “adequate” representation to Punjab in the CACP as well by including farmers’ representatives from the state, saying avoiding a dialogue or hearing suggestions from the representatives of Punjab will not serve the purpose.