|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Quattrochhi issue rocks LS
February 22, 2006 15:44 IST
The Quattrochhi issue rocked Lok Sabha on Wednesday with an angry opposition demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's explanation over why two London bank accounts of the Italian businessman, key accused in the Bofors pay-offs case, were defrozen at Central Bureau of Investigation's behest.
Describing Ottavio Quattrochhi as "no different a fugitive" than underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Leader of the Opposition Lal Kishenchand Advani asked Singh, who was present in the House, why the government was having a "soft corner" for the Italian.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Advani termed as "misleading" statements coming from the Prime Minister, Law Minister H R Bharadwaj and the CBI and wanted to know why the accounts were defrozen when the investigating agency had submitted to a local court that a red corner notice against Quattrochhi was still in operation.
Agitated BJP members along with Akali Dal, Janata Dal-United, Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Dal trooped into the well when government fielded Minister of State for Personnel Suresh Pachauri to respond to opposition's onslaught.
Chanting slogans "Pradhan Mantri jabab do" (Prime Minister should reply), they demanded that nothing short of an explanation from him would do.Coming out strongly against opposition tactics, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee observed, "It is most unfortunate" and "deliberate obstruction" of proceedings. "I totally condemn the method adopted (by the opposition)," Chatterjee said as he adjourned the House for nearly two hours ahead of the lunch recess.