Smooth functioning of Parliament is perhaps not conducive to combating terror. On Wednesday, the opposition, despite pledging support to the government on that head, forced adjournments thrice.
Senior UPA floor managers were bracing for disruptions over the Gujarat Lokayukta row, but the 10.14am blast outside the Delhi high court proved a game changer. The idea of the opposition was to block certain bills.
Minutes after the blast, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar called parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and informed him that the opposition would seek information from the government on the latest attack. Bansal agreed.
But before the government managers could reach out to the supporting parties and a section of the opposition to negotiate the parameters, BJP managers roped in other parties like the CPM, JD(U) and even Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party to support the demand for an adjournment.
After the House assembled at 11 am, several leaders led by BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani asked for an adjournment. Bansal, too, had to agree till the home minister’s statement came, “keeping the sentiment of the House in mind”.
UPA managers tried to remind Advani privately that in 2001, when he was the home minister, Parliament functioned even after the December 13 attack. But their efforts were futile.
Rajya Sabha too, had to be adjourned till home minister P Chidambaram gave his statement. After his statement in both houses, only two bills could be introduced and matters under Rule 377 were taken up.
The Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day as many opposition members felt it would be inappropriate to discuss and debate other issues under the circumstances.
“On a day of terror attack, the parliament should have functioned properly to send a strong political message. But it didn’t happen,” a UPA minister said.