The BJP on Tuesday moved a breach of privilege motion against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Lok Sabha for announcing outside Parliament his decision to reject the setting up of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the phone-tapping and IPL controversies.
“This is not an ordinary thing. I was shocked to read the Prime Minister’s statement in newspapers. It’s disrespect to the House,” Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha.
“This is a serious breach of privilege,” said her party colleague Ananth Kumar.
Kumar and 49 other BJP MPs submitted the motion to Lok Sabha secretary-general P.D.T. Achary on a day the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) members led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad stalled Parliament on the price rise issue.
The Congress dismissed the charges, saying it showed “complete lack of any productive issues” on the part of the Opposition. “This is not a breach of privilege... We will face it,” Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said.
The CPM supported the BJP. “In our view, it is a fit case for breach of privilege,” party leader Sitaram Yechury said. “We will consider the matter tomorrow. Today our focus is on the government’s failure to check price rise.”
A 13-party non-NDA and non-UPA grouping, including the Left, SP and RJD, had called for a nationwide shutdown on Tuesday on the price rise issue.
These parties also created a ruckus inside Parliament. While the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day at noon, the Lok Sabha witnessed three adjournments till 6 p.m. when cut motions and the guillotine were taken up for voting.
“Jab jab Congress aayee hai kamartod mehngai layi hai (whenever Congress has come to power, it has brought back-breaking inflation),” shouted SP and RJD MPs in the Lok Sabha.