No parliament business for ninth day, 2G deadlock on (Third Lead)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NEW DELHI - It was the ninth successive day of no business in parliament Wednesday with both houses being adjourned again over the opposition demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation.

It was another day of commotion in both houses as slogans and counter-slogan shouting forced the presiding officers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to call it a day.

Noisy protests greeted Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as soon as she entered the house at 11 a.m.

Even before Meira Kumar could take her seat, MPs from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Janata Dal-United JD-U, the Samajwadi Party (SP) gathered near the speaker’s podium shouting slogans.

They were demanding the setting up of a JPC to probe alleged irregularities in the allocation of second-generation mobile telephony spectrum two years that is said to have caused the national exchequer huge financial losses.

As the speaker called the question hour, the Congress’ Harish Choudhary raised the issue about irrigation projects in Rajasthan. His was the first question listed for the day.

But the noise made him barely audible. The electoral victory of the BJP-JD-U combine in Bihar echoed in the house with some BJP members flaunting the triumph and shouting “Jai Bihar” slogans.

The protesting MPs also shouted slogans like “We want JPC” and held placards reading “We want JPC” and “We want justice”.

Members from the ruling alliance led by the Congress countered with slogans and placards demanding the resignation of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa over land scam charges.

Some Congress MPs were seen rushing to the speaker’s podium with placards and shouting slogans like “Book Bellary Brothers”, “Sack Yeddyurappa”.

The Congress’ Haroon Rasheed almost reached the podium when he was stopped by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who asked him to go back to his seat.

The slogan shouting prompted Meira Kumar to adjourn the house till noon.

When the house resumed, the din continued and Deputy Speaker Karia Munda adjourned the house till 11 a.m. Thursday.

The pandemonium in the Rajya Sabha beggan as soon as Chairman Hamid Ansari at 11 a.m. called for the question hour to be taken up, but BJP and AIADMK members trooped to his podium shouting “We Want JPC” and “Bhrastachari Sharam Karo”.

Ansari pleaded: “Please don’t come into the well.” He also asked the MPs from the ruling benches not to display banners, which demanded the removal of Yeddyurappa. The protesting, MPs, however didn’t relent and continued shouting slogans.

Ansari adjourned the house till noon but when the protests continued when it resumed, forcing its adjournment for the day.

Question hour has not even once been conducted in the Rajya Sabha since the winter session began Nov 9.

Barring the first day of the winter session, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have not functioned normally for even one full day to transact legislative business.

Since Nov 10, both the houses have been witnessing adjournments as soon as they meet every morning. Parliament has not transacted any significant business as the question hour was taken up in the Lok Sabha only on the first day of the winter session.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on the first day as a mark of respect to a sitting member who died during inter-session period.

The nine successive days parliament’s adjournment without any major business translates into a loss of a a staggering Rs.70 crore with the expenditure for each day of a session calculated at Rs.7.8 crore.

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