Bid to take Bill forward fails amid ruckus

With just five working days to go for the winter session of Parliament to end, prospects of forward movement on pending legislative work appeared increasingly slim on Friday, with the Congress-led UPA government and the Opposition remaining deadlocked on key issues. The pending work ranges from the Lok Pal Bill to creation of Telangana.

Sloganeering and fractious exchanges marred proceedings in the Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders told journalists they would back a no-confidence motion by MPs opposed to the division of Telangana.

Though the government managed to table the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha, incorporating 13 amendments, discussion on it could not be held as the House was adjourned during the post-lunch session.

Government sources said the UPA was keen on pushing the Bill through, ignoring protests. However, Chairman Hamid Ansari, the sources said, told the government managers he could not allow the Bill to be approved amid pandemonium.

Pressure on the government to pass the Bill has mounted since the good show by the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi Assembly elections. The Bill was the centrepiece of the mobilisation that preceded the AAP’s formation.

On Friday, the adjournment was forced by SP members at 3.30 p.m., when the House reassembled after three adjournments. Led by Naresh Agarwal, SP MPs demanded a discussion on rising prices. Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien first warned the agitating members and later adjourned the House till Monday.

SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav told journalists that his party was opposed to the Lokpal Bill as it would lead to “police raj”. He said: “For us, the issue of price rise is more important than Lokpal.”

Earlier, adjournments were forced by SP MPs, who raised slogans against rising prices. Two members from the Telugu Desam Party trooped into the well opposing bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The Lok Sabha witnessed noisy scenes with TDP and YSR Congress members rushing into the well in support of their demand for a united Andhra Pradesh.

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