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Stormy start to parliament's budget session as opposition protests over price rise

New Delhi: The Budget Session of Lok Sabha today started on a tempestuous note with members belonging to several opposition parties storming the Well protesting against inflation and hike in rail fares and prices of petrol, diesel and LPG.

Trouble started as soon as the Question Hour began, with members of Congress, Trinamool Congress, RJD, SP, Aam Aadmi Party and the Left trooping into the Well raising the issue of prices and rail fare hike. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's repeated pleas to allow the questions to be taken up went unheeded, leading to adjournment of the House for nearly 40 minutes.

Today was the first day of the Budget session of the Narendra Modi government. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) members were also in the Well opposing the ordinance on the Polavaram project. Slogans like "achha din ayega, mahangai badhayega (good days will come, prices will rise)" and 'roll back rail fare hike' were heard.

Members also opposed rise in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was seen standing in the aisle, while his party colleagues Jyotiraditya Scindia, Deepinder Singh Hooda, K C Venugopal and several others were in the Well.

RJD's Pappu Yadav was vociferous in his protest as was TMC's Kalyan Banerjee and most of his party colleagues. Bhagwant Singh Mann of AAP was also in the Well and was heard raising the plight of Indians left behind in trouble-torn Iraq.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the House during the entire period of turmoil along with his senior party and ministerial colleagues L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj. Congress President Sonia Gandhi was also seated in the front row of the opposition benches.

Amidst the din, the replies to questions given by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar could not be heard. NCP's Supriya Sule, who was asked to raise a question on unemployment, shouted the government's reply was "unsatisfactory and bureaucratic".

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