New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Thursday witnessed uproar for the third straight day with a determined opposition seeking a statement from the Prime Minister on the controversial remarks of minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti besdies her resignation.
The opposition alleged that the government was using its "brute majority" to stifle its voice, a charge denied by the ruling side.
"The Prime Minister is the leader of all. He is the Prime Minister of the country and only he can control or direct his Ministers...The whole country wants that such statements need to be condemned and that is why the entire Opposition is requesting for his statement," Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said.
His remarks came amid din over the issue as members of several parties including Congress and Trinamool Congress stormed the Well and raised slogans during the Question Hour.
Amid protests by the ruling side, Kharge accused the government of attempting to suppress the opposition through "brute majority".
He told Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that "you are the custodian and only you can check such attitude and behaviour of the government. ... I am not saying that you have come under their pressure."
He said the opposition protest to demand a statement from the Prime Minister was going on for over an hour and "no heed was being paid to it. If this happens, then democracy will be in danger."
"What is the reason why the Prime Minister is not coming to the House and making a statement when we are protesting in such a peaceful manner," Kharge said.
The Speaker denied any pressure on the Chair and said she had to "maintain a balance" as she had to listen to "400 members who also want to ask questions and want proceedings to continue".
She said whenever the opposition raised an issue, she has ensured that there is a response from the government and gave the examples of government responding to the burning of a Delhi church and the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh.
"No issue raised by the opposition has gone unnoticed," Mahajan said, adding that in Jyoti's case, the Minister has herself apologised and the Parliamentary Affairs Minister has made an appropriate statement. "Therefore the matter should end there," she observed. The Speaker told Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay that the notice for adjournment motion given by him was disallowed as the matter was not of urgent importance and therefore there was no need for him to speak.
Amid uproar, Bandhopadhyay said he was seeking to give a clarification as the name of Trinamool Congress and its member Tapas Pal was taken in the House yesterday by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
He later led a walkout of his party members, protesting against he being denied the opportunity to have his say.
Naidu, who came to the House at this point of time, said he had not said anything out of context and he holds Mamata Banerjee in high esteem.
Taking a dig at the opposition, he remarked, "Everyday merely cursing will not do anything to this government. People's will will prevail."