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December 12, 2001
1343 IST
Updated at 1610 IST

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Coffins scam: Parliament adjourned for the day

The coffin scam rocked Parliament for the second day running as slogan-shouting opposition members stalled proceedings leading to adjournment of both the Houses for the day without transaction of any legislative business.

In the Lok Sabha, agitated Opposition members started raising slogans as soon as the House assembled on Wednesday morning pressing for the ouster of Fernandes who has been under attack ever since his re-induction into the Union Cabinet in October.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who returned from a five-day tour of Japan on Tuesday night, was present in the Lok Sabha when the House met.

Due to uproar, Home Minister L K Advani failed to introduce the controversial Prevention of Terrorism bill to replace POTO for the second day on Wednesday.

Unlike Tuesday when Opposition members stormed the well defying the recently adopted Code of Conduct and threw papers, the leaders of various parties directed their members against moving to the well.

With no signs of restoration of order, Speaker G M C Balayogi adjourned the House till mid-day.

When the House reassembled, the morning's uproar was repeated with Opposition members shouting Gaddi chhoro (leave the chair) and Sena khoon bahati hai, sarkar dalali khati hai (Soldiers shed blood, government takes commission).

As the din continued, Deputy Speaker P M Sayeed adjourned the House till 1430 hours.

However, when the situation did not improve even at 1430 hours, Sayeed adjourned the House for the day.

Soon after assembling for Question Hour, the Rajya Sabha was thrown into turmoil as opposition members were on their feet shouting coffin chor, gaddi chhoro.

Within minutes, Chairman Krishan Kant adjourned the House till 1200 hours.

When it reassembled, the opposition persisted with its demand for the resignation of Defence Minister George Fernandes and forcing Kant to adjourn the House for the day after listed papers were tabled amidst the din.

Congress and Left party members were seen waving copies of the CAG report which indicted the government for financial impropriety on defence purchases during the Kargil war, including procurement of coffins for the dead war heroes.

Some members even displayed newspapers carrying the CAG report.

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(c) Copyright 2001 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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