Parliament stalled

Hitting out at the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government, the opposition members accused it of trying to take away the people’s democratic right to protest.
Both the Houses were adjourned repeatedly, finally for the day, as the Opposition MPs created ruckus over Hazare’s arrest. They demanded a debate on the issue and a statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, on the matter.

Though Home Minister P Chidambaram was ready to make a statement in Lok Sabha, the agitating opposition MPs did not allow him to do so, before the Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House.

The BJP leader of opposition  Sushma Swaraj later said the demand for the prime minister’s statement would be made again on Wednesday. She said the Opposition wanted a statement only from the prime minister, not by any other members of the treasury benches.

Swaraj said that only the government’s response to the Opposition demand for a statement from the prime minister  would determine whether Parliament would resume functioning from Wednesday.

Earlier, the Lok Sabha witnessed uproar immediately after it assembled with the BJP, Left, Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and Shiv Sena  MPs protesting the arrest of Hazare. The Opposition members, terming the government’s move as “un-democratic” and “unjustified”, demanded suspension of the Question Hour to take up a debate on the issue. Swaraj and a few other MPs had earlier given a notice to the Speaker seeking suspension of Question Hour.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that the Opposition should allow the Question Hour to continue. He said the government was ready for a brief discussion on the issue at noon. This proposal was, however, turned down by the  opposition. As the  the ruckus continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till 11.30 pm and, with the same scene continuing, again till 12 noon.

After the House re-assembled, the Opposition MPs were on their feet again and demanded discussion on the arrest of Hazare, as offered by government earlier. Bansal said that the Opposition had rejected the offer. He, however, said that the Home Minister would make a statement.

The Opposition MPs, however, insisted that a debate should be followed by a statement from the PM. They soon  trooped into the well of the House raising slogans against the government. The Speaker then adjourned the House for the day. In the Rajya Sabha, when Chairman Hamid Ansari took up the first question of the day, the BJP leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley rose to make a statement. But the Congress MPs prevented him from speaking, resulting in an uproar. Ansari adjourned the House till 12-00 noon.

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