New Delhi: In an unusual episode, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien sparred in the Rajya Sabha over procedures, triggering commotion which led to stalling of the House for nearly an hour.
The row began at noon when Kurien called Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley to speak on the situation in Kishtwar area of Jammu and Kashmir which witnessed violence last week.
Kurien called Jaitley after strong demand by BJP members earlier that he should be allowed to speak on the issue, particularly since he was not allowed to proceed to Kishtwar yesterday.
Meanwhile, Chidambaram said he wanted to make a statement on the issue and insisted that he should be allowed first.
Kurien, however, said he had already asked Jaitley to speak and the Finance Minister could make the statement after him.
He told Chidambaram that if had to make a statement, he should have intimated in advance.
At this Chidambaram remonstrated, saying, "This is a completely new practice. I must record by respectful protest."
Chidambaram`s party colleagues including Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni and Satyavrat Chaturvedi backed him, asking the Chair to allow the government to make a statement on the issue first.
However, Kurien stuck to his guns, saying, "When I came here, I allowed the LoP. I had no intimation from Government. You should have intimated. I have allowed LoP. I stand by it."
Chidambaram, backed by his party colleagues, continued to express protest over the Chair`s decision.
On the other hand, BJP members protested against the ruling party`s objections to the Chair`s decision.
This led to an uproar, prompting Kurien to adjourn the House for half an hour.