New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha could not conduct any meaningful business on Thursday as the opposition remained adamant on the demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi be present during the debate on demonetisation and the house was finally adjourned for the day at 3 p.m. after witnessing five adjournments.
Members of the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, AIADMK, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party demanded that Modi be present in the house as it discusses the issue of demonetisation of currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
Appeals by members of the treasury benches, including Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, that he would come as and when he wants and the debate must go on went unheard.
"Why don't you debate the issue," said Naqvi, adding that "he (Modi) will come when he has to."
The opposition members did not pay any heed to their request and gathering in front of the presiding officer's podium, shouted slogans against the Prime Minister and accused the government of being "insensitive".
Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien also requested the agitating members to return to their seats but his pleas went unheard and he finally adjourned the house for the day.
The opposition has been demanding the presence of Prime Minister Modi in the upper house since Wednesday.
On November 8, the government announced the spiking of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to battle black money and corruption. The move has led to massive queues outside banks and ATMs countrywide to deposit or exchange the scrapped currency or withdraw money in new notes.