Day 13: Parliament shuts again without business (Second Lead)By IANS
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
NEW DELHI - Both houses of parliament were closed for the 13th successive day Tuesday without any business as the tug of war between the government and the opposition over a parliamentary probe into the alleged irregularities in the allotment of 2G spectrum continued.
In a replay of what has been happening since parliament’s winter session began Nov 9, protests and slogan shouting began as soon as the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha met Tuesday morning.
This was the 13th day of virtually no business, and the chairs are being forced to adjourn the house barely minutes after meeting. In the first 13 days of the winter session, the Lok Sabha has met for less than six hours.
While opposition parties are firm on their demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the scandal that forced DMK leader A. Raja to quit as communications and IT minister, the government too is adamant that it will not concede.
The government has proposed attaching a multi-disciplinary probe team with the public accounts committee (PAC) to go into the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the 2G spectrum, but the opposition has rejected it.
And so, question hour on Tuesday was again adjourned in both houses as opposition MPs began shouting slogans of “We want JPC!”.
Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the Lok Sabha till noon first, and so did Chairman Hamid Ansari in the Rajya Sabha. The situation was the same when the houses met again, forcing adjournments till Wednesday.
In the Lok Sabha, for instance, as members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena, AIADMK and Samajwadi Party shouted slogans, Congress MPs tried to counter them by waving placards and demanding the resignation of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa over his alleged involvement in a land scam.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal asked the Congress protesters to take their seats as Meira Kumar pleaded for order in the house before she adjourned the house till 12.
And when the MPs met again at 12, the slogan shouting continued forcing the speaker to shut the house till Wednesday.
In the Rajya Sabha, trouble began as soon as Ansari took up the first question to conduct the crucial question hour, with BJP and AIADMK members trooping towards his podium, shouting slogans and alleging that corruption was rampant in the Congress-led government.
Ansari pleaded “please don’t come into the well”. But this had little impact on protesting MPs.
Congress Rajya Sabha MPs were seen displaying banners reading: “What About Shourie’s Revelation?”
This was an apparent reference to former communications minister and BJP leader Arun Shourie’s claim that he had “no doubt” that some vested interests secured his removal as the lead speaker for his party in the debate on the 2009-10 budget.
This was first mentioned in a taped conversation of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with Raja who ordered the 2G spectrum allotment in 2008 that is believed to have cost huge financial losses to the national exchequer.
Non-BJP opposition MPs also took out a protest march from Parliament House to Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet President Pratibha Patil.
They said they would urge the president to intervene and ask the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government to accept their JPC demand.