Divided on JPC, MPs unite against terror

Monday, December 13, 2010

NEW DELHI - Divided over the probe into the 2008 2G spectrum allocation, MPs cutting across party lines found common ground Monday when they stood united against terrorism to remember those killed in the parliament terror attack nine years ago.

But the unity was brief with chaos taking over as soon as the tribute was over. The logjam over the oppositions demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2008 allotment of second general telephony spectrum again saw both houses being adjourned sine die on the last day of the winter session that began Nov 9.

As soon as the Lok Sabha met at 11 a.m., Speaker Meira Kumar read a message to pay tributes to the nine people - five policemen, one paramilitary woman constable, two security staff of parliament and a gardener - who were killed on Dec 13, 2001 when terrorists attempted to storm the edifice of Indias democratic polity.

The dastardly attack was thwarted by the valiant and the ever vigilant security forces guarding the parliament complex, Meira Kumar said.

Paying homage to the supreme sacrifice made by the brave security personnel, the speaker said the house calls for concerted and renewed efforts to cope with the global malaise of terrorism”.

Lets on this day resolve to resolutely combat the macabre designs of the perpetrators of terrorism and reaffirm our pledge to protect the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the motherland, she said, asking MPs to stand in silence as a mark of respect to the memory of the departed.

After the pin drop silence, noisy protests returned to haunt the house - a daily routine for parliament in the winter session that has been washed away with no significant legislative business conducted in over the month long session.

As the speaker called for the question hour of the day, the entire opposition trooped near her podium continuing with their protests and demand for a JPC probe into the spectrum allocation.

A shocked Meira Kumar did not ask protesting members to go back to their seats but looked at them silently.

Waiting for the speaker to adjourn the house, MPs raised loud slogans We want JPC, We want JPC and Meira Kumar kept mum.

Members from the ruling benches also didnt react and they also watched the protests quietly.

In the din, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj was seen asking the speaker to adjourn the house, but Meira Kumar didnt even look at her. A BJP member sought the speakers attention to listen to Swaraj but Meira Kumar was unmoved till she reluctantly adjourned the house till noon.

The Rajya Sabha was also adjourned till noon amid protests after members of the upper house paid tributes to the dead. The protests, however, continued forcing its ajournment for the day.

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