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'Mole' issue disrupts Question Hour in RS

SP MP Shahid Siddiqui wanted suspension of the Question Hour in the House for discussion on it.
None | By United News of India, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 31, 2006 07:11 PM IST

The issue of the 'mole in the PMO' on Monday led to uproarious scenes in the Rajya Sabha, after Samajawadi Party MP Shahid Siddiqui wanted suspension of the Question Hour in the House for discussion on it in the context of a letter written by a US Senator to an Indian diplomat.

The Chair agreed for a discussion on the letter later in the day.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, Siddiqui started waving a copy of the latest issue of an English weekly which had published the senator's letter.

V Narayanasamy (Congress) also wanted to know from the Chair about the fate of the notice he had given on the 'mole' issue.

Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat told them that their notices had been conveyed to the government which should be given sometime to come out with its response in the House.

However, Siddiqui, who was in the meantime joined in by other members, said the matter was very grave as it related to the security of the country. He said there should be immediate discussion on the matter.

Narayanaswamy wanted the government to get the full information from the Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh, who had sparked off the controversy by raising the issue in his recently-published book.

At this, Jaswant Singh rose up and said he was ready to answer any question in the House if it was brought up in an appropriate manner.

When Siddiqui and Swamy showed no signs of relenting, Shekhawat asked the Minister of State for Parlaimentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri to satisfy the members.

Pachauri said there were so many questions to be answered like how and at whose instance Azhar Masood was set free, how much money was transacted which the government wanted to discuss.

But he had hardly finished his sentence when members from the BJP benches, including Sushma Swaraj, were on their feet, shouting on the top of their voices, to register their objection to what they felt that an aspersion was being cast on Jaswant Singh, the Foreign Minister in the then NDA government, when the Kandahar plane hijack had taken place.

When the Chair said that a discussion would take place but after the Question Hour, Swaraj raised a point of order that the discussion should be limited only to the letter, not to the book written by Jaswant Singh, because if one book was taken up, then there were many other ones which would figure too.

The Chair agreed to her demand and said the discussion will be limited to the letter published in the English weekly.

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