Ruling Congress members on Tuesday prevented Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley from making a statement on the detention of Anna Hazare and forced adjournment of the House till noon.

When Chairman Hamid Ansari took up the first question as soon as the House met for the day, Mr. Jaitley rose to make a statement.

“Let us hear the Leader of the Opposition,” Mr. Ansari said as ruling party members stood up demanding that the Question Hour be taken up first.

At this, opposition members shouted back at the ruling benches, plunging the House into turmoil.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla said Home Minister P. Chidambaram will make a statement at 12 p.m. on the detention of Mr. Hazare.

But this failed to pacify the opposition members and the din grew louder with ruling party members raising their pitch against Mr. Jaitley being allowed to speak.

“This is not right. Please allow the Leader of the Opposition to speak,” Mr. Ansari said, and asked members to resume their seats.

“Has the government decided that House will not function? Will the government not allow the House to function?” Mr. Jaitley asked, pointing out that the Chairman has given him the permission to speak.

“Does the ruling party want that the House should not discuss serious issues facing the country,” he posed. “We express anguish and protest over murder of democracy both outside the House and inside the House. They want to murder the right to protest,” he said.

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