Stung by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s slogans against United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress members on Tuesday forced repeated adjournments of Rajya Sabha disallowing Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley to complete his speech during a debate on the Commonwealth Games.
The Opposition and the Treasury benches clashed frequently during the Short Duration Discussion initiated by Mr. Jaitley, who attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for appointment of Suresh Kalmadi as chairman of CWG Organising Committee.
Mr. Jaitley also referred to Mr. Kalmadi’s objections to the government interference in his work.
The BJP leader mentioned Mr. Kalmadi’s letter to the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary in 2007 in which it was stated that his appointment as OC chief followed “a series of meetings” with the UPA chairperson and the Prime Minister.
When Mr. Jaitley made these remarks, his party colleagues resorted to slogan shouting, using certain words against Ms. Gandhi, which the Congress members strongly objected.
Several Congress members soon trooped into the well forcing Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan to adjourn the House for 15 minutes, but the issue could not be resolved when the House reassembled minutes before the scheduled lunch break.
When the House met again at 2 p.m., the Treasury benches, including Minister Ashwani Kumar, insisted on an apology from Mr. Jaitley on behalf of opposition. But, the Leader of the Opposition said that the remarks were not personal.
He said, “No disrespect was meant for the UPA chairperson but the remarks should not have been made... We are conscious of the fact that she is recovering from an ailment and we wish her all the best.” However, this did not satisfy the Congress and amid pandemonium, the House was again adjourned till 3 p.m.