Today's Paper

Five adjournments in Lok Sabha as allegations fly thick and fast

Anita Joshua

“Money and coercion used, efforts made to prevent MPs from reaching Delhi”



Pappu Yadav says Malhotra approached him to vote against government

BSP member says a person claiming to be a CBI officer threatened him



NEW DELHI: Allegations flew thick and fast in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday as the trust vote discussion entered the second day, resulting in five adjournments through the day. Most of the allegations were against the government and ranged from use of money and coercion to efforts to prevent members from reaching the capital.

With Opposition members — particularly from the Bahujan Samaj Party — stating that they feared for their lives, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee instructed the government to ensure the security of every MP.

He also agreed to consider the Opposition demand for setting up a House Committee to look into the allegation that the government was threatening to arrest Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati if BSP members voted against the motion.

Adjournments

The pre-lunch session itself saw two adjournments; the first over jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) member Pappu Yadav accusing Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra of approaching him to vote against the government.

Mr. Malhotra, who was making his intervention during the discussion, denied the charge; saying “I have never met him or sought his vote.” With both sides entering into a vociferous altercation, Mr. Chatterjee adjourned the House for 20 minutes.

Speaker’s objection

Earlier, Mr. Malhotra ran into trouble with Mr. Yadav when he sought to criticise the government for trying to save itself with the help of “jailed” members. The Speaker immediately objected to this, maintaining that they had a right to be in the House as long as they were members.

After the first adjournment, proceedings began with the Speaker urging members to desist from making personal insinuations. But, within less than an hour, proceedings were disrupted once again when Brajesh Pathak (BSP) sought to raise a threat issued to him in the morning by a person claiming to be a CBI official.

As tempers rose, Mr. Chatterjee adjourned the House for lunch after which Mr. Pathak claimed that he was approached in the morning at his residence and told that Ms. Mayawati would be arrested if the BSP voted against the government. He also tabled a set of papers allegedly given to him by the “CBI official” who was said to have claimed that Ms. Mayawati was innocent in the disproportionate assets case but the government was using it to pin her down.

While the Speaker first handed over the papers to Home Minister Shivraj Patil with the instruction that the matter be enquired into, he took them back when members raised objections, stating the government could not be trusted as the CBI was under its command.

Another charge levelled against the government was delaying flights to the capital to prevent members from reaching Parliament.

This was raised by Mr. Malhotra, who alleged that two of his party members were unable to reach the capital because of Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel.

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