Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha proceedings adjourned after Opposition protests
On the second day of Parliament's monsoon session, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned till Wednesday amid sloganeering by Opposition MPs on issues of price hikes and inflation. The Opposition gave notice in both houses on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate hike and the Agnipath military recruitment scheme. Congress MP Manickam Tagore gave the adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha.
Opposition parties attacked the central government over price rise and the recent hike in GST rates in Parliament on Tuesday. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also joined the protest. The leaders held a big banner reading, "High inflation, continuous price rise badly affecting common citizens." "We have appealed to all parties to fight against price rise, GST hike (sic)," Congress's Mallikarjun Kharge said on Monday.
Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Kumar Jha on Tuesday moved suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the implications of the Agnipath scheme. To recall, the government unveiled the recruitment scheme in June. However, it was met with violent protests across the country, with aspirants fearing it will make enrollment into the Indian armed forces contractual with no job security.
The Centre will also hold an all-party meeting on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will brief leaders of all political parties about the situation in both the houses of Parliament at the meeting. At Sunday's all-party meeting, DMK and AIADMK leaders urged the Centre to intervene in Sri Lanka's crisis.
Sri Lanka has been facing record inflation and severe shortages of food, fuel, and other essentials. It's struggling to service its $51B foreign debt due to a lack of foreign exchange with the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardizing its lucrative tourism revenue. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to flee the country and resign as the president amid civil unrest, with protesters storming his residence and destroying property.
ANI quoted sources as saying that Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra is expected to make a presentation on the Lankan situation on Tuesday. "The government is calling for suo moto meeting to address the concerns of several political parties, especially in Tamil Nadu as they are worried about the Sri Lankan crisis and the influx of refugees in the state," the sources stated.