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Anna detention stalls Parliament

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2011 13:06 IST

The issue of detention of Anna Hazare and his supporters led to pandemonium and frequent disruptions in Parliament with the Opposition demanding immediate discussion on the matter suspending the Question Hour.

The government objected to the demand throwing the Lok Sabha into turmoil, while the Rajya Sabha witnessed ruling party members opposing permission by the Chair to Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley to raise the matter.

When the Lok Sabha met for the day, Speaker Meira Kumar informed the House that suspension of Question Hour notices had been given by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta and JD(U) member Sharad Yadav among others.

They wanted an immediate debate on the detention of Hazare and on the larger issue of corruption.

While the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till noon, the Lok Sabha witnessed two adjournments - first till 11.30am and then till noon.

The Lok Sabha Speaker disallowed the notices for adjournment motion given by Yogi Adityanath (BJP) and Shailendra Kumar (SP) on Hazare and some issues related to Uttar Pradesh.

She said there was no provision for suspension of Question Hour in Lok Sabha but asked the members making this demand to "briefly touch upon the subject".

However, when Swaraj rose to speak, parliamentary affairs minister PK Bansal intervened and said, "My submission is that the government is prepared for a discussion at 12 (noon). They make their point and then the House is disrupted..."

He insisted that if Swaraj is allowed to speak, the home minister should also be allowed to make a statement.

Agitated members of BJP, JD(U), CPI-M, CPI, SP and BSP were on their feet objecting to Bansal's comments.

Congress members too were on the feet and demanded that the Question Hour be held.

Sanjay Nirupam (Cong) said his party was objecting to opposition parties supporting those going against democracy.

The speaker then adjourned the House till 11:30am.

When the House reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed and the Chair adjourned it till noon.

In the Rajya Sabha, ruling Congress members prevented Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley from making a statement on the detention of Hazare and forced adjournment of the House for an hour.

When chairman Hamid Ansari took up the first question as soon as the House met for the day, Jaitley rose to make a statement.

"Let us hear the Leader of the Opposition," Ansari said as ruling party members stood up demanding that the Question Hour be taken up first.

At this, opposition members shouted back at the ruling benches, plunging the House into turmoil.

Minister of State for parliamentary affairs Rajeev Shukla said home minister P Chidambaram will make a statement at 12 hours on the detention of Hazare.

But this failed to pacify the opposition members and the din grew louder with ruling party members raising their pitch against Jaitley being allowed to speak.

"This is not right. Please allow the Leader of the Opposition to speak," Ansari said, and asked members to resume their seats.

"Has the government decided that House will not function. Will the government not allow the House to function," Jaitley asked, pointing out that the Chairman has given him the permission to speak.

"Does the ruling party want that the House should not discuss serious issues facing the country," he posed.

"We express anguish and protest over murder of democracy both outside the House and inside the House. They want to murder the right to protest," he said.

As the ruling benches continued with the protests, Ansari said, "It is established practice that when Leader of the Opposition wishes to speak, we given him an opportunity."

"This is very wrong. This is not right," he said as some of the ruling party members moved into the aisles.

Minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Narayanasamy too got up to make a statement but his voice could not be heard in the din and the House was adjourned till noon.