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'Unparliamentary remarks', staged gunbattles disrupt parliament

Both houses of parliament were disrupted today as irate opposition members protested the "unparliamentary remarks" of two ruling coalition MPs and allegedly staged police gunbattles in Gujarat and other parts of the country.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 05, 2010 04:59 PM IST

Both houses of parliament were disrupted on Wednesday as irate opposition members protested the "unparliamentary remarks" of two ruling coalition MPs and allegedly staged police gunbattles in Gujarat and other parts of the country.

Both houses were adjourned twice in the pre-lunch session.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned the first time over staged gunbattles and then over newly-elected Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar's "fascist" remarks against Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M Venkaiah Naidu.

In the Lok Sabha, Left MPs stalled proceedings demanding an apology from Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay for using unparliamentary words against Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Basudeb Acharia.

When the Lok Sabha assembled at 11, Speaker Meira Kumar said about Tuesday's incident: "I disapprove such conduct." She also requested the opposition to cooperate with the chair to conduct the question hour.

However, Acharia, a veteran MP, said: "He (Bandyopadhyay) will have to apologise."

Rejecting the demand, Badyopadhyay said the video recording of Tuesday's Lok Sabha proceedings should be checked. If he was indeed found to have used objectionable language, he would apologise.

Finance Minister and Leader of House Pranab Mukherjee said he had seen many ugly scenes in the house. "We should not say these are unprecedented incidents."

He requested the Left MPs to close the chapter as the speaker had made an observation on the incident. The MPs, however, advanced to the speaker's podium and continued their noisy protest, forcing Meira Kumar to adjourn the house till 12 noon.

With the ruckus continuing when the house reassembled, Inder Singh Namdhari, who was in the chair, adjourned the sitting till 2 pm.

The Rajya Sabha was first adjourned at 11.40 for 20 minutes following noisy protests by the BJP against the alleged fake gunbattles and then till 2 pm as party MPs demanded an apology from Aiyar for his remarks on the BJP leaders.

BJP member SS Ahluwalia wanted leader of the upper house, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to come to the chamber and provide an explanation for Aiyar's remarks.

Trouble also arose when Home Minister P Chidambaram was replying to reports of alleged fake police gunbattles in the national capital and BJP members led by Rajiv Pratap Rudy sought to widen the scope of the question to other parts of the country.

"The question is on Delhi Police. He (Chidambaram) may have all the answers. But this is not the time for this," Chairman Hamid Ansari told the agitating members.

"Why are you expanding the scope of the question?" Ansari asked.

"I am not expanding the scope of the question. He (Chidambaram) is competent enough to give an answer," Ahluwalia retorted as BJP members led by Vinaykumar Rupani and Rudra Narayan Pany advanced towards the speaker's podium.

Ahluwalia, however, pushed them back but the BJP members continued to stand at their places, shouting "Jawab de (Give a reply)", prompting a disgusted Ansari to remark: "I'm afraid this is disgraceful behaviour."

Failing to restore order, Ansari then adjourned the house till 12 noon.

When the house reassembled, Venkaiah Naidu raised the issue of Aiyar's remarks as he had done so when the house first assembled for the day.

"The chair works according to the rules. The remarks have been deleted," said Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan but this did not satisfy Ahluwalia, who said in a raised voice: "Let the leader of the house come and explain."

"The chair can ask a member to withdraw. Remarks can be deleted but the chair can't ask a member to apologise," Khan explained.

As Prakash Javadekar and other BJP members advanced towards the speaker's podium, Khan adjourned the house till 2 pm.

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