New Delhi (TIP): The deadlock in the Rajya Sabha seems to have no end in sight with both the government and opposition on December 18 unrelenting from their stand on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’sreply on a debate on religious conversions. While the proceedings of Rajya Sabha were stalled for the fourth consecutive day, the government refused to accede to the opposition demand for Modi’s reply.The prime minister was in Rajya Sabha for about an hour after the Question Hour started, as it is a day when questions related to the portfolios held by the prime minister are listed for reply.The day also witnessed angry exchanges with each side accusing the other of arrogance. Opposition did not let the debate get going even as HomeMinister Rajnath Singh said he will replyto them and, if necessary, Modi mightintervene. As the din continued duringthe morning session, Finance MinisterArun Jaitley chided the opposition: “Ifthe fact is that out of two Houses, one(Lok Sabha) is functioning normally andthe other is not being allowed to functionnormally, then, it is the arrogance ofnumbers and not the arrogance of thegovernment.”To this, CPM’s Sitaram Yechuryretorted, “I want to tell the Leader of theHouse (Jaitley)…if he is accusing ussaying, ‘arrogance of numbers’, I wouldsay, the other House is functioningbecause of the tyranny of majority.”Jaitley said the government was readyto debate the issue immediately butasserted that Opposition cannot dictatewho will reply from the government sideand what will be the terms andconditions. Ruling out a reply by theprime minister, Parliamentary AffairsMinister Venkaiah Naidu said as per therules the home minister will reply afterthe debate. When the House reassembledat 2 pm after the adjournment an hourearlier, it again witnessed protests, as theprime minister was not present. Then amotion moved by CPM MP P Rajeeve forstarting the debate was adopted but hisinsistence on the presence of Modi led toa heated exchange of words.

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