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Chidambaram issue stalls Rajya Sabha

Source: PTI
August 29, 2005 14:49 IST
The issue of Finance Minister P Chidambaram's lawyer wife Nalini appearing on behalf of income tax department in a court in Chennai rocked the Rajya Sabha on Monday as a determined Opposition stalled the proceedings leading to two adjournments of the House.

Soon after the House assembled for the two-day extended session, opposition members led by BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Yashwant Sinha, demanded Chidambaram to explain to the house the correct position and not issue statements through Central Board of Direct Taxes on the matter when the house was in session.

This sparked off a procedural wrangle and after a 45-minute turmoil, the house was adjourned first for about an hour till 12:45 p.m. without transaction of the listed business.

When the house reassembled deputy chairman K Rehman Khan adjourned the proceedings till 2:00 p.m. as opposition members were unrelenting in their demand.

Swaraj said the proceedings were adjourned for an hour to enable Chidambaram to come to the House to give an explanation on the issue. But "we do not find the Finance Minister and we want him to explain the position in the house."

BJP seeks Chidambaram's resignation

"Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has spoken on the issue outside the house and it is regrettable that Chidambaram has not come to the house to explain despite the members' demand," Swaraj said.

The deputy chairman repeatedly pleaded for order in the House saying that chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was considering a notice given by AIADMK member N Jothi to discuss the matter and until a decision was taken, the house should carry on with other listed business.

The plea went unheeded as the Opposition kept pressing for an immediate clarification from the Finance Minister and the House was adjourned for the second time.

Earlier Yashwant Sinha said as Finance Minister during the NDA regime, he had given an explanation to the House on an issue that had nothing to do with his official work.

Likewise, Chidambaram should also explain how his wife Nalini appeared in a CBDT case when he is the Finance Minister, he said citing the precedent.

Shekhawat said he had no objection to Jothi raising the issue but it should be done so after giving proper notice The chairman adjourned that House as BJP members rushed towards the Well.

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