The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on Monday after repeated interruptions over rising costs of petroleum products and other commodities, with the Opposition objecting as their demand for a debate on the subject was denied.
Soon after the House reconvened at 2 p.m. after two back-to-back adjournments—one until noon and the other until 2 p.m.—and the chair allowed a discussion on the workings of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, which had been raised by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP M. Shanmugam on March 30, the entire Opposition resumed their protest. Members of the opposition from the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the DMK, the Shiv Sena, and others rose from their seats and asked the chair to hold a discussion on the rising prices of petroleum products and essential commodities, as well as raise questions about why advance notices submitted by several members under Rule 267 to hold a discussion on the issue were rejected.
TMC member Derek O’Brien took on the government, hitting “the government do not want to hold a discussion on price rise they don’t want discussion on fuel..”.
In the midst of the chaos, Biju Janata Dal leader Sasmit Patra, on the chair, attempted to keep the proceedings calm.
Meanwhile, DMK member Tiruchi Siva raised a point of order, asking “why the notices given by us under Rule 267 to the Secretary-General to suspend all business of the House and conduct a discussion on hiking oil prices and many other notices were rejected”.
As the chaos persisted, Patra called the House to order, declaring that the next meeting would be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
The House was also adjourned twice earlier in the day—a few minutes after it convened at noon after a similar adjournment in the early hours of the day on the same problem.
Last month, the Upper House was forced to postpone due to a similar protest about rising petrol costs around the country. Fuel prices in India have been hiked for the first time in four months. The price of diesel and petrol has been increased by 80 paise. The country’s previous fuel price increase occurred in November.
Petrol in the National Capital currently retails at Rs 103.81 per litre up from Rs 103.41 per litre on Sunday.
This is the 12th increase in prices since they were first hiked on March 22, ending a four-and-half-month long freeze since November 4, 2021.