New Delhi Bureau

Unrelenting Opposition demands JPC on nuclear deal

Both Houses adjourned amid slogan shouting

Business in Rajya Sabha as uproar continues

NEW DELHI: The Opposition held up proceedings in both Houses of Parliament for the entire day on Wednesday in protest against the setting up of the UPA-Left committee to study the implications of the India-U.S. nuclear deal.

Entering the well, the Opposition members demanded that a Joint Parliamentary Committee be formed, saying the deal was not an issue among a few parties but a national issue which should be put under the scrutiny of Parliament.

With the government and the Left parties refusing to yield on the issue, both Houses saw several adjournments amid slogan shouting.

The Lok Sabha met thrice, each time adjourning within minutes as both sides stuck to their guns.

The Opposition had given notices for suspension of question hour but Speaker Somnath Chatterjee rejected them stating the issue could be raised immediately afterwards. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi were present.

With the Opposition — including the Shiv Sena — unrelenting, the Lok Sabha saw two quick adjournments before lunch. When it met in the afternoon, the only business that could be transacted was tabling of papers listed for the day.

The Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day soon after lunch break as the Opposition kept up its tempo of protest.

Stormy note

The proceedings began on a stormy note but Chairman Hamid Ansari insisted that question hour must have priority and conducted the proceedings amid the din for 40 minutes before adjourning the House for 10 minutes as his repeated pleas to the members to return to their seats had no effect.

The Opposition protest saw N. Jothi (AIADMK) and his colleague squatting in the well, while senior leaders including Yashwant Sinha and Murli Manohar Joshi of the Bharatiya Janata Party began thumping their desks. The second adjournment took place after five minutes and the third immediately after Deputy Chairman K. Rehman Khan replaced Mr. Ansari in the chair. The final adjournment for the day came within 10 minutes of the House reconvening after lunch.

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