Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Ananth Kumar duel in LS

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Ananth Kumar duel in LS

Lok Sabha on Thursday witnessed a verbal duel between Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar as the government blamed the Congress' top leadership for the wash out of the Budget Session.

The moment Kumar took names of the top leaders of the Congress, members of the main opposition were up on their feet to counter the minister. Kharge countered saying that the Congress members were ready for discussion and put the onus of restoring normalcy in the House on the government.

On the other hand, members of the AIADMK raised slogans and waved placards in the Well of the Lok Sabha demanding the immediate setting up of the Cauvery Management Board. TDP members were demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh by waving banners from their seats.

Senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi was seen agitated over Kumar's reference to certain names holding them responsible for the disruptions. The name mentioned by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister were ordered to be expunged by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Before taking up the notices for the no-confidence motion, Mahajan asked Kharge, CPI(M) leader P Karunakaran and Trinamool member Saugata Roy to put their views. The three leaders urged the Speaker to take up the discussion on the no-confidence motion.

"Since the House is not in order, I will not be able to bring the notice before the House," Mahajan said and adjourned the proceedings for the day. This was the 21st consecutive day the Lok Sabha was adjourned without transacting any substantive business in the ongoing Budget Session.

The heated exchanges between Kharge and Kumar continued for a couple of minutes even after the Lok Sabha proceedings had ended.

Later, speaking to a TV channel, Sonia Gandhi accused Kumar of "lying" on the floor of the House by putting the blame for disruptions on the Congress.

"I think it's shameful that the parliamentary affairs minister can speak such lies on the floor of the house," she was quoted as saying by NDTV.

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