TMC raises PNB scam in Rajya Sabha, House adjourned till 2 pm

Riding on the brute majority that it enjoys in the lower house, the Modi-led government on Wednesday got the Finance Bill 2018 passed by the Lok Sabha without any discussion or separate voting on the demands for grants of any of the ministries.

"Democracy is being strangled and the bill has been passed in the din", said senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved the Finance Bill 2018, reflecting taxation proposals as well as the Appropriation Bills outlining the spending in various departments. It was passed using the guillotine process, by which all outstanding demands are put to vote at once, irrespective of whether or not they have been discussed.

LS had scheduled discussions on Finance Bill 2018-19 and Appropriation Bills 2017-18 and 2018-19.

As the House assembled for the day, slogan-shouting members stormed into the Well and created a ruckus, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the proceedings of the House till noon.

The opposition has been noisily protesting in the Lok Sabha over various issues since March 5, when Parliament reconvened after the recess in the budget session.

The bills will now go to the Rajya Sabha, where they will have to be approved within two weeks.

Protests in the Lok Sabha over the range of diverse issues continued disrupting the resumed Budget Session. This is the seventh consecutive day of disruptions in the Lower House.

Earlier, the House mourned the death of its former member VPM Samy and legendary British scientist Stephen Hawking, as well as the killing of nine CRPF personnel in a naxal attack in Chhattisgarh.

The Lok Sabha also passed, through voice vote, the fourth batch of supplementary demands for grants for 2017-18.

The AIADMK meanwhile, has demanded a board for the management of the Cauvery river water.

Reading the obituary reference, Naidu said Samy, who represented Puducherry in the Upper House from July 1977 to July 1983, died on February 2 at the age of 83 years.

She said the other issues listed for the day would be taken up later. They also submitted the same in writing."This shows Government arrogance and unilateral move to bulldoze all the Financial Business without discussing them on the floor of the house", said the submission.Seeking speaker's immediate intervention to protect the rights of the MPs, the submission further says that the government is not taking any initiative to ensure smooth functioning of the House. Slamming Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia, he said that it seems that they "don't believe in democracy".

Vanessa Coleman