Centre rejects demand for law minister's resignation

Centre rejects demand for law minister's resignation

The Centre’s alleged interference in preparing the CBI report on allocation of coal blocks rocked both Houses of Parliament on Monday with the Opposition demanding the resignation of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar.

While the government rejected the demand for the minister’s resignation, the BJP said it “will not allow Parliament to function unless the law minister clarifies his stand”.

In the Lok Sabha, which saw adjournment for a day, coal gate issue was one among the many issues raised by different parties. And in the Rajya Sabha, the Question Hour and the  Zero Hour were affected as members were engaged in heated arguments over the motion to vote in this regard.

The Upper House saw three adjournments before lunch with the government agreeing to discuss the issue of coalgate but the Opposition remained adamant on calling the Law Minister to the House and seeking suo motu statements from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Ashwani Kumar.

The motion moved by V Maitreyan (AIADMK) on suspension of the Question Hour for a discussion on the role of CBI in the alleged coal scam was later rendered infructuous by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, saying the matter ended at 12 noon with the Question Hour.

Chairman Hamid Ansari earlier admitted Maitreyan's notice for moving the motion from among the eight notices received. He had put the motion to a voice vote but no division of votes could take place amid the din, as Ansari adjourned the House for 30 minutes. Earlier, the House was adjourned for 15 minutes on the issue.

"I am asking for peace. A motion has been moved. It is to be voted. Voting cannot take place in noise. Motion cannot be put to vote," Ansari said as members from the BJP and AIADMK rushed to the Well.

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