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Coal-gate: Parliament stalemate enters second week

August 27, 2012 17:04 IST

The stalemate in Parliament over coal block allocation issue entered the second week on Monday paralysing the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement as a determined Bharatiya Janata Party stuck to its demand for his resignation.

Turmoil over the issue which wiped off four days of business last week continued with both the Houses witnessing repeated adjournments before calling off the proceedings for the day.

The prime minister was forced to lay the statement in both Houses as BJP members stormed the Well raising slogans for his resignation.

He dubbed the CAG's computation of loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore in coal block allocation as "flawed" and "misleading" and blamed the Opposition for thwarting the Centre's effort to shift to competitive bidding.

Singh said he took "full responsibility" for the decisions taken as he contended that CAG's "observations" are "clearly disputable".

The Lok Sabha had to be adjourned till noon first and later till 2 pm, while the Rajya Sabha first adjourned till noon, then till 12:30 pm and again till 2 pm.   Both the Houses met at 2 pm only to be adjourned for the day minutes later as BJP members kept up the pressure.

As soon as the Lok Sabha met, BJP members trooped into the Well raising slogans against the prime minister after Speaker Meira Kumar's obituary reference to film actor A K Hangal.

"Pradhan Mantri Istifa do (Prime Minister should resign)," the BJP members chanted in the Well. Amid din, Kumar took up the Question Hour but nothing could be heard.

Only BJP members were in the Well and those of allies - JD-U and Shiv Sena - were seen raising slogans from their seats. Another BJP ally Akali Dal did not participate in the ruckus. Members of Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Left parties were also seated.

As the din continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon.

At the time of adjournment, RJD leader Lalu Prasad was heard saying that BJP members should be removed from the House as a majority was keen on functioning of the House.

"Bahar kariye inko, bahar kariye ... do tihai log chahte hai ki House chale (Remove them, two-thirds of the members want House to run)" Prasad said pointing towards BJP members.

In the Rajya Sabha, BJP-led NDA members were up on their feet shortly after it mourned the passing away of former member Chowdhary Ram Sewak and congratulated Indian cricket team for winning U-19 one-day international world cup.

As Chairman Hamid Ansari took up the first listed question, they shouted, "Pradhan Mantri istifa do (Prime Minister should resign)."

"Please sit down. Let the Question Hour proceed," Ansari pleaded with the members. But as slogan shouting continued unabated, he adjourned the House till noon.

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