UP brings down the House
Rocked by Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s arrest over her alleged derogatory remarks against Mayawati in Moradabad, Parliament adjourned for the day without transacting any business on Thursday.delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2009 00:13 IST
Rocked by Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s arrest over her alleged derogatory remarks against Mayawati in Moradabad, Parliament adjourned for the day without transacting any business on Thursday.
Minutes after Lok Sabha assembled, Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members hurled charges and counter-charges.
Led by Jagdambika Pal, Congress members protested Joshi’s arrest and the burning down of a portion of her house in Lucknow — allegedly at the behest of BSP leaders. The BSP members were on their feet to justify the UP government’s decision to arrest Joshi for her remarks against Mayawati.
Speaker Meira Kumar pleaded for peace but the members did not relent.
After two adjournments, the Speaker finally adjourned the House for the day at 2 pm.
In Rajya Sabha, BSP members demanded the “serious” issue of bitter words being used against their leader be taken up and Question Hour be suspended.
Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari urged the agitated BSP members to allow Question Hour to proceed. But party leader Satish Chandra Mishra remained unrelenting, saying the entire country was agitated at the “ignominy” meted out to the BSP chief.
With no sign of the protests subsiding, the Chairman adjourned Rajya Sabha for the day after noon.
Just hours after BJP leader Maneka Gandhi demanded in Lok Sabha that President’s Rule be imposed in UP, party MP from Lucknow Lalji Tandon criticised both Joshi’s statement on Mayawati and the subsequent attack on Joshi’s house.
Later in the day, the BJP decided to take a strong pro-Mayawati stand. It obviously hopes the standoff will prompt the BSP to withdraw support to the UPA, the latter’s comfortable majority notwithstanding.
“There should be an unconditional apology not just from Joshi but the Congress national leadership. No civilized society can accept the kind of language used by Joshi,” said the BJP’s Sushma Swaraj. “This issue is above party politics and is related to the dignity of womanhood.”
The standoff had ailing Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh issuing a statement on phone from Singapore: “Joshi’s comments are deplorable but equally disturbing are reports about the burning of the UP Congress chief’s house by hoodlums belonging to the BSP.”
In hospital after a kidney transplant, Singh went poetic: “Like Idi Amin of Uganda, Mayawati has turned into the Didi Amin of Uttar Pradesh.”