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Parliament in turmoil over Gujarat killings, US lawmakers' letter
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May 07, 2007 12:27 IST
Last Updated: May 07, 2007 15:40 IST

Parliament on Monday saw an uproar over two issues: the fake encounter killing in Gujarat; and the letter from United States lawmakers to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

In the Lok Sabha, angry Congress and Left members were on their feet condemning the fake encounter killings in
Gujarat and sought the resignation of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee asked members to raise the matter after Question Hour but members belonging to treasury
benches, Left parties and the Samajwadi Party continued to raise slogans.

The Bharatiya Janata Party members countered this by raising the Nandigram Special Economic Zone issue.

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

When the House re-assembled, the Speaker took up a Calling Attention Motion for increasing interest of small savings in Post Offices during Zero Hour, BJP Deputy Leader V K Malhotra said the Shipping Minister should tender an unconditional apology for 'misleading' the House.

Malhotra contended that Baalu had stated in the House that the 'Ram Setu' issue was sub-judice, to which DMK members stood up in protest. As BJP members trooped into the well, Chatterjee adjourned the House till 1400 hours.

Trouble erupted again when the House began work at 1400 hours, as Samajwadi Party, Left and some Congress members shouted slogans against the Modi government and sought discussion on the matter.

On persistent demands from SP, Left and Congress members, Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal finally allowed Ramji Lal Suman (SP) to speak on the issue.

But as soon as Suman demanded dismissal of the Modi government, BJP and BJD members strongly protested. As the uproar continued, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House till 1500 hrs.

The Rajya Sabha was plunged into turmoil over the letter of US lawmakers to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Indo-US nuclear deal and the fake encounter killing in Gujarat leading to adjournment of the House twice in the pre-lunch sitting.

In the din, which eclipsed the Question Hour and later the Zero Hour, BJP tried to rake up the issue of raising of anti-India slogans at a rally addressed by separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Srinagar recently.

Left parties were highly agitated over the 'insulting' letter written by US Senators to the prime minister on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Brinda Karat (CPI-M) sought to raise the issue both during the Question Hour and the Zero Hour and demanded the prime minister should respond to 'threat given by US Senators in the form of a letter, which is insulting to the country and the national sovereignty.'

As Left party members were on their feet, senior BJP member Sushma Swaraj raised the issue of Srinagar rally and demanded that Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh be allowed to speak.

As Singh was called by Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan to speak, he faced loud protests from Congress members who almost trooped into the well condemning the Gujarat fake encounter killing.

In the melee, BJP members shouted slogans of 'Kashmir Bachao, Desh Bachao,' (Save Kashmir, Save the Country) while Congress demanded the dismissal of Gujarat government and arrest of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

As soon as the House reassembled after the second adjournment, Deputy Chairman K Rehman Khan said first the notices or the Zero Hour would be taken up and asked Leader of the Opposition in the House Jaswant Singh to speak.

But before Singh could utter anything, Satyavrat Chaturvedi (Cong) was on his feet demanding the Gujarat issue be discussed first.

Despite the Chair and the Opposition assuring Congress members that the issue could be taken up after Zero Hour notices were through, the treasury benches persisted with their demand.

Chaturvedi expressed apprehensions that they would not be allowed to raise the Gujarat issue later. However, Deputy Leader of the BJP Sushma Swaraj assured the House that the issue would be discussed.

But, that was not enough to placate Congress members who continued to press with their demand forcing adjournment of the House for the day.

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