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Patil apologises for absence
August 04, 2005 17:46 IST
Under flak for not being present in the Lok Sabha when he had to respond to a calling attention motion on the Manipur situation, Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Thursday tendered an apology after Speaker Somnath Chaterjee adjourned the house for a short while taking serious exception to his absence.
"I take strong view of this. I don't approve of this. I am adjourning the House for 10 minutes," the speaker announced on not finding the minister, a former speaker, in the house after the question hour.
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Opposition members shouted 'shame, shame' as the speaker adjourned the proceedings. As the house reassembled, the home minister apologised to the speaker and the house.
Patil said he felt the calling attention motion would be taken up after zero hour and added that he had business in the Rajya Sabha.
The calling attention related to the situation arising out of the on-going economic blockade in Manipur resulting in non-availability of essential commodities and steps taken by the government in this regard.
The home minister admitted that he had no reason to be absent when the motion was taken up. The speaker later observed that Patil's absence was 'very unfortunate'.
"We hold you in high respect. We have learnt many things from you," Chatterjee said obviously referring to Patil's tenure as the presiding officer. The speaker told the home minister not to repeat his action.
"I hope you have made an unconditional apology.... This should not be repeated in future at any time," he added.