Suspended Congress leader Natwar Singh was on Thursday not allowed to speak on the India-US nuclear deal in the Rajya Sabha leading to vociferous protests from opposition BJP.
Midway through the discussion, Singh, who continues to occupy a front row seat in the House, rose to demand that he be allowed to put across his view on the deal when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present.
Deputy Chairman K Rehman Khan ruled he could not allow Singh to speak as his name was not in the list of speakers given by his Congress party.
Khan said if the member wanted to speak he could go and seek permission of the chairman.
Singh, however, said he had every right to speak on the issue as he was External Affairs Minister when the deal was signed.
The former minister said he had sought permission from the chairman but has not got any reply.
Opposition members supported Singh. Former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh said the House wanted to hear him and as a member he has right to speak.
Intervening on Singh's behalf, BJP's Arun Shourie said the deal would make an impact on the country for the next 50 years and the House could not be deprived of important information that Singh had to share.