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Home > News > PTI

Uproar in Lok Sabha over Vajpayee's remarks

August 11, 2006 14:34 IST

Members of Left parties and National Democratic Alliance on Friday clashed in the Lok Sabha over Bharatiya Janata Party-led opposition's charges against Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, leading to adjournment of the House till noon.

As soon as the House met for the day, Basudeb Acharya of Communist Party of India (Marxist) objected to certain observations made by Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee against the Speaker in a letter written to him. His objection was to Vajpayee's remarks that the Speaker was unable to earn as much confidence of opposition members as of ruling benches.

Acharya demanded suspension of question hour to discuss the issue. This triggered protest from NDA members leading to a clash between the opposition and the Left.

As the din continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon. Similar scenes were witnessed in the House on Thursday leading to its adjournment for the day.

Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi also met Leader of the Opposition L K Advani in his chamber in Parliament in an effort to end the standoff in the Lok Sabha over Vajpayee's stinging letter to the Speaker.

"They should withdraw it...," Mukherjee told reporters briefly after he emerged out of the meeting with Advani, which was also attended by leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh. But the BJP-led Opposition, which on Tuesday boycotted the Lok Sabha as a mark of protest against the Speaker whom it accused of suppressing its voice, demanded an apology from the ruling UPA for speaking against it while its members were not present in the House.

Malhotra also accused the Left, which disrupted the House on Thursday over Vajpayee's comments in his letter that the Speaker does no inspire as much confidence in the Opposition as he does in ruling parties, of ducking calls for a "sense-of-the-House" resolution on the India-US nuclear deal.

An NDA delegation led by Vajpayee is scheduled to meet President A P J Abdul Kalam on Friday evening to seek his intervention to prevent the government from going ahead with the nuclear pact, which the Opposition regards as a compromise on national interests.

The BJP leader challenged the Left to write a memorandum against the nuclear deal to the President to prove it too opposed the deal.

Rajya Sabha adjourned

Rajya Sabha was thrown into turmoil after opposition members stormed the well protesting against the Chair not allowing Natwar Singh to make a personal explanation leading to adjournment of the House 40 minutes ahead of lunch recess.

In the midst of members raising some important issues, Natwar Singh repeatedly stood up to make his submission but Deputy Chairperson K Rahman Khan said his statement was still under examination by Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and until he took a decision, he would not be allowed to raise the matter.

This triggered protests from BJP benches with Yashwant Sinha and S S Ahluwalia saying it was a member's right to make a personal explanation and that Natwar Singh be allowed to make his submission. To this, Khan said senior members were well aware of rules and personal explanation by a member could be made only after the Chairman takes a decision.

This was, however, not acceptable to unrelenting opposition members and several of them trooped into the well. Repeated pleas by the Deputy Chairperson for order and his suggestion that they should take up the matter with the Chairman fell on deaf ears and the House was adjourned at 12:20 pm.

Natwar Singh had yesterday submitted a written personal explanation to the Chairman. Under Rajya Sabha rules, Shekhawat has a right to vet it to see if there were any debatable points before allowing the member to make his submission in the House.

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