Party objects to overrunning earlier decision to revive Upper House in T.N.

The Rajya Sabha could not discuss two important issues on Tuesday as Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members noisily protested the government's attempt to overturn an earlier decision to revive the Legislative Council in Tamil Nadu.

The protests effectively jettisoned a discussion on the working of the Civil Aviation Ministry, which would have become a platform for an exchange of views on the Air India strike, something demanded by members for the past few days.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee could not make a statement on the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to Aircel-Maxis. This statement was to come in response to persistent demands from members. The Opposition questioned the deal and alleged that then Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, had a hand in getting it cleared.

The inability of the Rajya Sabha to take up both issues led BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy to view the DMK protest as “contrived to stall the House and help the government evade questions on the Air India strike and the Maxis deal.”

The DMK members were protesting because it was under their government that the Tamil Nadu Assembly had approved the creation of the Upper House, following which Parliament framed and passed the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act, 2010. But with the AIADMK winning the elections last year, the Assembly passed a fresh resolution which repudiated the need for a Legislative Council. The Centre duly came up with the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council (Repeal) Bill, 2012, which was sought to be moved by Law Minister Salman Khurshid and opposed by the DMK.

The disruption in the afternoon mirrored the uproar in the morning when the Opposition protested the delay in tabling a CAG report on coal blocks allocation. Ironically, the DMK's T.M. Selvaganapathi, whose colleagues disrupted the House in the afternoon, repeatedly complained about earlier ruckus because he had “lost about nearly five questions during question hour.”

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