NATIONAL

Poll results dominate Lok Sabha proceedings

NEW DELHI Dec 4. The results of the elections to the four State assemblies completely dominated the proceedings of the Lok Sabha today. Attendance was thin from the beginning, with most members either away in the States or preferring to watch the results on television. The House was adjourned midway through zero hour.

Both the Treasury and the Opposition benches wore a deserted look. The Congress members were despondent and were subjected to some pulling of legs by the BJP and Shiv Sena members.

The suggestion for an adjournment was made by the BJP member, Shriprakash Mani Tripathi and the Speaker, Manohar Joshi, after seeking the approval of the House, agreed to do so.

Earlier, during zero hour, the Government accepted the Opposition's demand for a statement from the Prime Minister on the bribery case relating to the former Union Minister, Dilip Singh Judev.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, informed the Lok Sabha that the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, would make a statement on the issue in Parliament on his return from his trip abroad. "We have absolutely nothing to hide... '' said Ms. Swaraj. At the start of zero hour, the Speaker allowed a few members to make presentations on their adjournment notices. In his ruling, Mr. Joshi said there could be a discussion on the Judev issue after the House listened to what the Prime Minister had to say.

On the issue relating to the alleged interference by some Central Ministers in the functioning of the Public Sector Units, he said he had sought information from the Department of Personnel and Training and would give his ruling after going through it.

Mr. Joshi pacified the agitated Samata Party members who wanted a discussion on the violence against people of Bihari descent. He would convene a meeting of the floor leaders tomorrow to work out the parameters for a discussion.

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