Both houses of Parliament were adjourned till noon today minutes after they assembled for the day, as the opposition parties immediately united to raise a din over the hike in petrol and diesel prices.
It was trouble from the word go in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, which saw opposition members on their feet demanding rollback of the petrol and diesel price hike announced in finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's budget proposals.
Although the price hikes cannot be considered steep at Re1 for petrol and a little less for diesel, it was enough to get the opposition going. This included parties supporting the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) from the outside, like the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, and the Rashtriya Janata Dal.
In the Lok Sabha, opposition parties were on their feet as soon as the house met for the day. Apart from the fuel price hike, they were protesting against rise in prices of other essential commodities as well. Samajwadi Party members rushed into the well of the house and raised slogans.
Going by past experience, no business is likely to be transacted in either house even in the afternoon, when the houses are supposed to reconvene.
However, the protests are unlikely to change the price hike decision, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ruled out a rollback on yesterday. His statement came after key coalition partners Trinamool Congress and DMK softened their stand, with Trinamool's Mamata Bannerjee, saying the coalition would continue ''despite obstacles,'' though she would keep appealing for a rollback even while remaining in the UPA.