New Delhi: Taking exception to Rajya Sabha
Chairman Hamid Ansari invoking a 24-year-old ruling to
disallow clarifications on the Prime Minister`s statement on
WikiLeaks, BJP on Friday said Manmohan Singh cannot shield himself
behind such a rule.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley, supported by the Left,
said the Opposition "cannot be gagged" and the Prime Minister
is "accountable to Parliament...He cannot shield himself
behind a new practice."
As soon as the Prime Minister made his statement at 2.30
PM, Jaitley raised his hand, wanting to seek clarifications,
but was disallowed by Ansari.
"I am afraid, Rule 251 does not allow clarifications on
this. Please read the rules. There are earlier rulings of the
House on this..." the Chairman said.
An indignant Jaitley stood up and backed by his party
members, said that the Upper House has a convention that
whenever a statement is made by a minister or the Prime
Minister, clarifications are sought.
"It has been without any exception and I do not know any
reason why the convention is being broken today..." Jaitley
said, adding it was an extraordinary situation.
In his support, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said, "This
rule has been there. It has never been invoked so far...I
would like to know why this is being invoked after 24 years".
Yechury also asked "why did you not follow it last week
(when the Prime Minister made a statement in the House on
quashing of CVC appointment)..."
However, Ansari did not agree to the appeals and said the
Ruling of April 24,1987 was "unambiguously clear. That is
As Opposition members kept protesting, Ansari adjourned
the House for 20 minutes till 3 PM.
When the House reassembled and Deputy Chairman K Rahman
Khan was in the Chair, Jaitley again stood up and said, "The
Opposition cannot be gagged. The ruling party would like to
gag the Opposition. It is entitled to say what it wants to
In his statement, the Prime Minister rubbished charges of
bribery during the 2008 Trust Vote based on "speculative and
unverified" cables and asserted that no one from Congress or
government engaged in any "unlawful act".