Coalgate shuts down Parliament again

The Parliament House was adjourned for the fourth consecutive day, due to BJP's demand for PM's resignation, in New Delhi on Friday. File Photo: R.V. Moorthy  

As the Opposition insisted on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation over coalgate, both Houses of Parliament had to be adjourned for the fourth consecutive day on Friday.

Members of the Telugu Desam Party and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam backed the National Democratic Alliance in the Rajya Sabha.

Congress members countered the Opposition, waving documents to drive home their point that the Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled States also did not favour auction of coal blocks.

As soon as the Houses met for the day, Opposition members rushed to the well, raising slogans against Dr. Singh, who held the coal portfolio when the blocks were allocated — a process which the Comptroller and Auditor-General said caused a presumptive loss of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer.

In the Lok Sabha, BJP and Shiv Sena members poured into the well, raising slogans to condemn “undue favours” given to private firms.

Speaker Meira Kumar tried to take up question hour but, as chaos reigned, had to adjourn the House till noon.

When the House reassembled, it was adjourned for the day immediately, after laying of papers.

In the Rajya Sabha, NDA members shouted slogans the moment Chairman Hamid Ansari took up the listed business. The Treasury benches countered them with slogans hailing Dr. Singh.

Mr. Ansari adjourned the House until after noon, after his requests to allow question hour to proceed were ignored by the Opposition. When the House reassembled, the scene was no better. Minister of State V. Narayanasamy rose to speak but was disallowed. Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked Parshottam Khodabhai Ruapala of the BJP to put his listed short notice question but he declined to do so.

Soon, BJP members were in the well, raising a steady chant of slogans, with members of the NDA, including the JD(U), and the AIADMK and the TDP, expressing solidarity with them.

Mr. Kurien adjourned the House till 2.30 p.m. — and finally for the day, when the BJP members stormed the well even when private members’ bills were to be taken up.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 12:16:32 AM |

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