New Delhi: The government and its "supporting parties" were deliberately disrupting proceedings in the Rajya Sabha and it was doubtful whether they would allow a debate on foreign investment in retail, the BJP alleged on Wednesday as the upper house was adjourned for the day without any business being transacted.
"Since the very first day, the government doesn't seem to be serious about conduct of business, specially in the Rajya Sabha," leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters.
The opposition, he said, doubted if the ruling party and its supporters would allow the debate on foreign direct investment (FDI) to take place Thursday as scheduled.
"I have the suspicion that the government is unsure which way the Rajya Sabha will vote, so it is not letting the house function. We doubt they will allow the debate on FDI tomorrow (Thursday)," he said.
He said a complaint has been made to the upper house chairman and an explanation sought from Leader of the House, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"The government is deliberately trying to create an atmosphere that the house cannot function. Even when the Lok Sabha is functioning normally, the Rajya Sabha is being stalled. The whole nation is watching, not a single opposition member has trooped into the well of the house, it is government members and supporting parties that are stalling the house," he said.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned Wednesday first due to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which took up the issue of a memorial for B.R. Ambedkar in Mumbai. At noon, after BSP members were pacified, it was the turn of Samajwadi Party (SP) members to gather near the chairman's podium, shouting slogans against reservations in promotions.
Both parties support the UPA government from outside.
Former deputy chairperson of Rajya Sabha and BJP leader Najma Heptullah echoed Jaitley. "I have never seen a situation like this before. The government itself is disrupting the house," she said.
Her colleague M. Venkaiah Naidu added: "They are trying to do what they did during the Lokpal bill debate. They don't have the numbers so they are trying to disrupt the house."
The debate on FDI in retail is scheduled to start in the upper house Thursday.