LS adjourned till 2 PM; Cong MPs protest PM's remarks

LS adjourned till 2 PM; Cong MPs protest PM's remarks

The Congress today forced the adjournment of the Lok Sabha's pre-lunch proceedings demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his comments against former premier Manmohan Singh.

The House was first adjourned till noon minutes after it had assembled for the day, the second adjournment till 2 PM came soon after the listed papers were laid. The Prime Minister was present in the House when it was adjourned for the first time.

As soon as the House met at noon after the first adjournment to take up the Zero Hour, Congress members stormed the Well raising slogans and asking Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to allow their leader Mallikarjun Kharge to speak.

Unmoved by the pleas, the Speaker asked BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab to speak on the issue of formation of a tribunal to settle the Mahanadi water sharing dispute.

As Mahtab started speaking, the Congress protests continued, though on a low key. But as soon as BJP MP Poonam Mahajan started speaking, the slogan-shouting by the Congress members intensified.

"What is happening? Why I am not being allowed to speak," Kharge was heard asking.

Kharge's colleague K C Venugopal said Kharge should be allowed to speak "that is his right". Another Congress MP Sushmita Dev shouted "We want Zero Hour".

When Poonam Mahajan tried to raise the statement of a former MP who had allegedly said in a talk show in Pakistan that Modi should be removed as the Prime Minister and another statement of an opposition leader that PoK belongs to Pakistan, the Congress MPs protested strongly and raised vociferous slogans.

As the turmoil continued, the Speaker adjourned the House for about 40 minutes till 2 PM.

Earlier as soon as the Speaker took up the Question Hour, Congress leaders raised the issue of the remarks made by Modi against Singh during the Gujarat election campaign.

Modi was present in the House at that time as questions related to the Prime Minister's Office are listed on Wednesdays.

The Congress has been raising the issue since Monday and demanding an apology from the Prime Minister for his remarks during the poll campaign.

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