President Patil's speech marred by disruptions

President Patil's speech marred by disruptions

Disruptions on issues like Telangana, atrocities on Sri Lankan Tamils, sub-quota for minorities, and shortage of fertilisers today marred President Pratibha Patil's Address to the joint sitting of Parliament.

MPs raised slogans to press their demands during Patil's last Address to Parliament before she completes her term in July.

Even Congress members from Andhra Pradesh, who are demanding Telangana statehood, disrupted her speech by raising slogans of "Jai Telangana".

Ironically, while Patil appealed to the members to work together "in a spirit of constructive cooperation" to discharge business in the two Houses of Parliament in this session, her own speech was disrupted five times.

Even before Patil began her speech, DMK members were on their feet asking the government whether it would support a US resolution to be moved in the UN against the Sri Lankan government for allegedly committing atrocities against Tamils living in that country when the war against LTTE was nearing its end.

Towards the end of Patil's Address, the same issue was flagged by AIADMK member V Maitreyan. Patil waved at him asking him to take his seat.

A reference by Patil to her government's recent decision to provide 4.5 per cent sub-quota within the OBC quota for minorities also led to protests. Hukmadev Narayan Yadav (BJP) was on his feet to protest, saying the right of OBCs will be affected.

When Patil enumerated the steps being taken to increase fertiliser production, JD-U member from Jehanabad Jagdish Sharma alleged that farmers were not getting fertiliser.