Angry Speaker adjourns Lok Sabha sine die amid drama

Amid high drama in the Lok Sabha on Friday, opposition parties walked out in protest against the government passing bills without discussions amid noisy protests over proposed statehood for Telangana.

New Delhi: Amid high drama in the Lok Sabha Friday, opposition parties walked out in protest against the government passing bills without discussions amid noisy protests over proposed statehood for Telangana. Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the house sine die, slamming the unruly behaviour of some MPs.

There were highly emotive moments in the Rajya Sabha too, with SS Ahluwalia (Bharatiya Janata Party) protesting the acquisition of gurdwara land in Lahore for a military housing project and Praveen Rashtrapal (Congress) wondering whether Karnataka chief Justice PD Dinakaran`s elevation to the Supreme Court was being targetted "just because he is a Dalit".

Meira Kumar, before announcing the indefinite adjournment of the Lok Sabha, said: "It is disturbing to note that a thinking is growing among certain sections in the house that the house should be paralyzed in order to make a political point."

The house, which was originally scheduled to adjourn Monday, "is the symbol of the dreams of over one billion people of this country," the Speaker said reminding the MPs the "solemn oath" they have taken that they would faithfully discharge their duties.

The abrupt adjournment came amid reports during the week that many MPs were not willing to return from their constituencies just for a day. Parliament normally adjourns on the last Friday before Christmas. It was extended this time as it was thought the government might like to make a statement on the outcome of the Copenhagen climate change conference.

Meira Kumar also asked MPs to make an "honest introspection" about the "disturbing trend" in the functioning of the house.

The third session of 15th Lok Sabha commenced Nov 19 and had 21 sittings spread over 105 hours. The house lost 31 hours and 49 minutes due to interruptions and forced adjournments.

On Friday also chaos ruled the house as Andhra Pradesh MPs protested continuously for and against a separate Telangana state. The MPs from the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) and the Congress, representing the two sides of the debate, disrupted the proceedings and forced cancellation of the Question Hour at 11.20 a.m. The Lok Sabha was first adjourned till noon.

Pandemonium returned when the house resumed at 12 noon.
As the bedlam continued, the government rushed through business papers and got many of them passed, including a mid-year budget review and a white paper and vision 2020 of Indian Railways, in a span of just 20 minutes.

The MPs who tabled the papers were not even audible.

The opposition parties protested saying it was "undemocratic" to move the bills without being debated. Left MPs were the first to walk out and were followed by those from the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and also the Samajwadi Party, which provides outside support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

In a joint press conference outside the house, BJP, Left, Samajwadi Party and JD-U leaders said the ruckus over Telangana was a "conspiracy" by the ruling Congress to pass bills without allowing the opposition to speak on them.

They said the bills should have been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee before being given a "safe passage".

In the Rajya Sabha, responding to BJP`s Ahluwalia after he had raised the gurdwara land issue during zero hour, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said: "We will certainly take it up with the concerned authorities in Pakistan."

Protesting against the Pakistani government`s move, Ahluwalia said: "Next they will sell Panja Sahib (one of the few Sikh gurdwaras in Pakistan), where there is still the hand imprint of first Sikh guru Guru Nanak."

"The government should summon the Pakistani ambassador and take a commitment that the property of minorities like Sikh, Hindus and Sindhis will be protected," he added.

Raising the Dinakaran issue, also during zero hour, Rashtrapal shouted: "What is happening here? Why is Dinakaran being targetted? Is it just because he is a Dalit?"

This led to counter-slogans from the opposition benches but Rashtrapal soldiered on, asking: "Do you mean to tell me he is the only corrupt judge in the country".

As the din continued, Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan ruled that nothing would go on record.

On Thursday, Chairman Hamid Ansari accepted a motion by 75 members seeking to impeach Dinakaran on charges of land grabbing.

The Rajya Sabha will sit on Monday as originally scheduled before adjourning sine die.


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