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Office of profit: Govt to mull ordinance

Parliament was adjourned after Oppn protested Govt move to free some posts from purview of office of profit.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2006 20:23 IST

In an unprecedented development, Parliament was abruptly adjourned sine die perhaps after the shortest Budget session.

This happened in the backdrop of controversy over government's reported move to bring an ordinance on the office of profit issue.

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, which were rocked by the issue, saw repeated adjournments as the opposition BJP and the Samajwadi Party, targeted Sonia Gandhi alleging that the ordinance move was aimed at "saving" her membership.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee chose to stay away from the proceedings in view of complaints that he was among those holding the office of profit, which cost SP MP Jaya Bachchan her membership of the Rajya Sabha.

The sine die adjournment brought immediate resentment in the opposition camp with Leader of the Opposition LK Advani describing the development as "singularly unfortunate event in the history of Parliament".

Amid cries of "shame, shame", Deputy Speaker Charanjit Atwal adjourned the Lok Sabha sine die saying government has requested the Speaker that since there was no business for the rest of the session, it should be adjourned sine die.

In view of assembly polls in five states, the session was rescheduled.

The entire exercise of the passage of the Union Budget 2006-07 was completed in the first phase itself doing away with the customary examination by Parliamentary Standing Committees.

The agitated Opposition members also demanded the removal of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla citing Shah Commission's findings and alleging he was "unfit" to hold any public office on account of "misuse of power" during Emergency.

The Opposition members waved copies of a newspaper report which said the Government had finalised a draft Ordinance to amend the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959.

The Act provided for exemption of a fresh batch of offices including that of the National Advisory Council Chairman, a post being held by Sonia Gandhi, from the purview of the office of profit.

With slogan-shouting Samajwadi Party and BJP members trooping into the well in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the presiding officers repeatedly adjourned the proceedings.

First Published: Mar 22, 2006 15:37 IST