LS remained paralysed as Opposition adamant on Sushma, Raje, Shivraj’s resignation
New Delhi: Parliament
was unable to function on the second day on Wednesday as the opposition,
rejecting the government’s offer of a debate, forced repeated adjournments,
demanding the removal first of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj,
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister
Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the controversies surrounding them.
Rajya Sabha failed to
transact any business for the second straight day due to the pandemonium.
Meeting on its first working day this session, Lok Sabha too remained paralysed
as Congress and Left members kept entering the well of the House with placards
despite Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s warning of disciplinary action. Both Houses
adjourned for the day after 2 pm.
The only work done in
Lok Sabha was the green signal to a motion seeking extension of the term of the
Joint Committee of Parliament on the land bill.
Black bands on their
arms, Congress members raised placards that read ‘Bade Modi meherban to chhote
Modi pehelwan’ (a reference to the Prime Minister and former IPL chief Lalit
Modi), ‘PM chuppi todo’ (PM, break your silence), ‘Modiji 56 inch dikhao, Sushma,
Raje ko turant hatao’ (Show your might by removing Swaraj and Raje).
RJD and NCP members
backed the Congress protest, watched by Swaraj who was sitting in the front row
of the treasury benches with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Transport Minister
TRS members contributed
to the uproar by raising the demand for a separate high court for Telangana. At
present, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana share the same high court, two years
after the bifurcation.
The Speaker Sumitra
Mahajan disapproved of the action of the protesting members and warned that “in
the event of disorderly conduct, I would be constrained to initiate appropriate
disciplinary action against erring members”.
Mahajan said she has
always provided “adequate” opportunity to all sections of the House to raise
matters of topical interest and hoped that all members would adhere to the set
norms of etiquette and standards of behaviour.
Congress and Left members again stormed the well. Those from the TRS too
trooped into the well in support of their demand for a separate high court.
This forced the Speaker to adjourn the House for two hours, a few minutes after
noon. The House witnessed similar scenes when it met at 2 pm. Deputy Speaker M
Thambidurai adjourned the House for the day.
In Rajya Sabha, BSP’s
Satish Chandra Misra, SP’s Naresh Agarwal, CPM’s Tapan Kumar Sen and CPI’s D
Raja said they had given notices under Rule 267 to suspend business to take up
discussion on the Lalit Modi issue and Vyapam scam.
Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley, who is Leader of the House, asked the opposition to point out the
provision of the law which Swaraj violated in allegedly trying to help Lalit
Modi. Insisting on a discussion, he hit back at the Congress by referring to
allegations of financial irregularities against its chief ministers in Himachal
Pradesh, Puducherry and Kerala.
Leader of Opposition
Ghulam Nabi Azad proposed that some members who had given adjournment notice
should be allowed to speak, prompting Jaitley to protest and ask whether such a
practice could be allowed every day.
Jaitley accused the
opposition of doing “politics of slogan-shouting”. “There has been enough
politics of slogan-shouting. You start with the debate. The House will not
allow slogan-shouting,” he said.
At this point, BSP’s
Mayawati targeted the Prime Minister saying the entire episode had “exposed”
those who had claimed “na khaoonga, na khane doonga” (I will neither take bribe
nor will I allow anyone to take it). Amid protests by BJP members, she demanded
an impartial CBI probe and resignation of Chouhan.
JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav
said the ministers whose names have come up in the controversies should resign.
He said the BJP will emerge stronger after the probe clears their names. To
drive home his point, he recalled how he and BJP leader LK Advani resigned —
after their names came up in the Jain hawala case in the 1990s — until their
names were cleared.
On the Vyapam scam,
Jaitley said it was “squarely a state issue” and if the opposition wanted to
change the rule to “discuss state issues and set up new precedents”, then
issues ranging from Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Assam should also be
discussed. “So we will be fair to all states… If they want to discuss the issue
relating to Sushma Swaraj, please start the discussion right now,” he said.
CPM’s Sitaram Yechury
said the Vyapam issue was not just restricted to one state as people linked to
it had died even outside Madhya Pradesh under mysterious circumstances. The
verbal clash continued whenever the House met after adjournments, leading to