“Since 2014, a total of ₹ 21 lakh crore have been collected as excise duty. Because of this, the country is suffering, prices are going up,” Mr Kharge said.
Off to a stormy start because of Congress MPs raising slogans and demanding a debate over the rise in fuel prices in the past many weeks, the second part of the Budget session of Parliament in Upper House was adjourned today at 10.02 am, minutes after Question Hour began. The two houses are meeting for the second leg of budget session amid a scorching Assembly polls campaign, continuing farmer protest, and, most importantly, spiking petrol, diesel, and LPG prices.
Fuel prices, although remained unchanged in past few days, have been rising continuously over the many weeks. Several opposition parties and their leaders have been protesting against the same on streets with many even riding bicycles, bullock carts, and electric scooters to work.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, referring to the Congress MPs protesting against the fuel prices in the house, said: “I don’t want to take any drastic action on the first day.”
Earlier, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjuna Kharge, raised his party’s concerns over the issue. The Congress MP demanded the suspension of the House proceedings to debate this under Rule 257.
“The price of petrol is nearly ₹ 100 per litre today. The price of diesel, too, has reached more than ₹ 80. LPG prices have also increased. Since 2014, a total of ₹ 21 lakh crore have been collected as excise duty. Because of this, the country is suffering, prices are going up,” Mr Kharge said.
However, the Rajya Sabha chairman rejected his demand saying the issue can be debated “during the course of discussion on the Appropriation bill”. This led to the opposition parties raising slogans. As the sloganeering didn’t stop despite requests from the chair, Mr Naidu adjourned the House, first till 11 am and then extended till 1 pm.