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Parliament disrupted over petrol price hike

Monday March 04, 2013 04:39:33 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Parliament was repeatedly disrupted Monday as a vociferous opposition took up the issue of the hike in petrol prices and demanded a rollback.

The Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha were first adjourned till noon and then till 2 p.m. as opposition parties shouted slogans, slamming the government and demanding that the hike be rolled back.

In the Lok Sabha, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other parties started shouting slogans on the issue as soon as the house met at 2 p.m.

Speaker Meira Kumar's repeated requests to allow question hour to proceed proved futile and the house was adjourned first till noon and later till 2 p.m after the opposition members gathered near her podium.

There were similar scenes in the Rajya Sabha with the entire opposition as well as the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party disrupting proceedings.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the house amid commotion till noon.

As the house reassembled, the commotion continued.

"This is disrespect of parliament. When the house is in session how can a minister make such an important announcement outside parliament?" said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

SP leader Naresh Aggarwal said the hike was not acceptable and the government timed it just a day after the budget was presented.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said the decision was not taken by the government but oil companies.

"Ever since petroleum prices have been deregulated, oil companies decide and announce oil price hike and not the ministers. This is not disrespect of parliament," he said.

The opposition continued the agitation forcing Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien to adjourn the house till 2 p.m.

Petrol prices went up by Rs.1.40 a litre, excluding taxes, from March 1.

This was the second hike in over two weeks after the Feb 15 increase in the price of the fuel by Rs.1.50 a litre.





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