The Lok Sabha today saw both the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee apologise following angry exchanges over disruption of the house by TDP MPs over the disputed Babhali barrage on the Godavari river.
Earlier in the day, the house witnessed an unpleasant scene when it reassembled at 11.30 a.m. after an adjournment following protests by the TDP and the Shiv Sena over the Babhali barrage at the centre of a controversy between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Mukherjee asked the TDP MPs, who had gathered near Speaker Meira Kumar's podium to protest against the controversial barrage, to go back to their seats.
The exchange of angry words began when the speaker requested the MPs to go back to their seats, stating that Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal would make a statement on the issue. But the TDP MPs continued their protest. At this, Mukherjee lost his temper.
This, in turn, provoked Sivaprasad Naramalli to shout at Mukherjee. An upset Mukherjee retorted, "You go back to seat, that is the rule." Naramalli, who represents the Chittoor parliament constituency, again shouted at Mukherjee.
Congress MPs, including Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Aaroon Rashid, Jagadambika Pal and M. Jagannath, also rushed towards the podium to defend Mukherjee, who is the leader of the house.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj pacified Naramalli and sent him back. The other four TDP MPs stood by him.
The incident forced another adjournment till 12 noon.
When the house reassembled, TDP leader in the Lok Sabha Nama Nageshwara Rao apologised to Mukherjee.
He said the issue with senior leader "Pranab Da" was unfortunate and "we are sorry for that".
Following Rao's apology, Mukherjee said, "Madam Speaker, first of all I would like to express my regret and apology because I lost my cool and temper with one of my young colleagues which I should not have done. But nonetheless, it has happened on the floor of the House. I sincerely apologise to the House."
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday had convened a meeting of chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra over the Babhali barrage row and called upon the two riverine states to abide by the Supreme Court's interim order.