Special Correspondent

Proceedings in both Houses held up for the second day

Members of the NDA, barring the Shiv Sena,

walk out on the issue

UPA will not compromise with the dignity of the House, says Dasmunsi

NEW DELHI: Key constituents of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) joined the Opposition and the Left parties on Wednesday in demanding action against the Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Ronen Sen, for his remarks on the political debate over the India-U.S. civilian nuclear deal.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) made common cause with the Opposition and Left parties on this issue.

In the Lok Sabha, the demand for his recall came from RJD member Devendra Prasad Yadav.

Mr. Sen’s remarks held up proceedings in both Houses of Parliament for the second day as members insisted on his recall and admission of their privilege notices against him.

While both Houses adjourned for an hour within minutes of meeting in the morning as members wanted to raise the matter before the question hour, the Lok Sabha returned to schedule thereafter as members were allowed to make brief interventions on the issue.

The Rajya Sabha saw another adjournment and could return to business only post-lunch; again after a short discussion on the issue.

The two Houses also witnessed walkouts by the NDA – barring the Shiv Sena — after the discussion over the Government’s non-committal stance on the demand for Mr. Sen’s recall.

“More time needed”

Prior to the first adjournment, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha, V. K. Malhotra, wanted to know from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — who was present in the House — whether a decision had been taken to recall Mr. Sen. As for the fate of the privilege notices, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said he needed more time.

Later, responding to the demand for Mr. Sen’s recall – raised by Rup Chand Pal (Communist Party of India-Marxist), Mohan Singh (Samajwadi Party) B. K. Tripathi (Biju Janata Dal), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (Shiromani Akali Dal), Subrato Bose (All India Forward Bloc), P. C. Thomas (Kerala Congress), Anant Geete (Shiv Sena) and M. Shivanna (Janata Dal-Secular) — Mr. Dasmunsi sought to assure the members that UPA would not compromise with the dignity of the House.

In the Rajya Sabha, the issue was raised by Yashwant Sinha (BJP) and the short discussion post-lunch saw Tariq Anwar (NCP), Ramdeo Bhandary (RJD) and R. Shanmugasundaram (DMK) press for action against Mr. Sen. Others who demanded his recall were Amar Singh (S.P.), Prasanta Chatterjee (CPI-M), D. Raja (CPI) and V. Maitreyan (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam).

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