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Chidambaram issue rocks Parliament again

Noisy protests by Oppn members demanding removal of Home Minister P Chidambaram stalled proceedings in Parliament Friday and forced adjournment till Monday of both houses.

New Delhi: Noisy protests by opposition members demanding removal of Home Minister P. Chidambaram stalled proceedings in Parliament Friday without any significant business, and forced adjournment till Monday of both houses.

Presiding officers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha adjourned the houses first till noon and then for the day after the opposition continued to create a ruckus over Chidambaram, who is accused of quashing criminal cases against a businessman he represented as a lawyer in 1999.

In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Hamid Ansari tried to pacify the protesting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members, asking them to let the Question Hour continue after he had read an obituary reference of former member Raj Bahadur Gour.

The protesting MPs refused to let him read the obituary, angering Ansari.

"At least respect the dead if you cannot respect each other," Ansari said, bringing some calm in the house.

MPs stood in silence for some time to mourn the death of the former member, but the din resumed soon after.

"Since the Question Hour cannot be held, the house is adjourned till 12," Ansari said.

The house was plunged into din after the MPs resumed sitting at 12, forcing the Rajya Sabha adjournment for the day.

Similar protests were witnessed in the Lok Sabha, forcing Speaker Meira Kumar to adjourn the house first till noon and then for the day.

Shiv Sena MPs also protested against alleged atrocities on Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka.

The BJP forced parliament to shut for the day Thursday also without conducting any significant business, alleging that Chidambaram had favoured S.P. Gupta, chairman of Sunair Hotels Pvt Ltd, by misusing his office for his "former client".

The Home Minister had been a focused target of the opposition since the winter session began Nov 22. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had declared on the eve of the session that it would not allow Chidambaram to speak in parliament till he resigns over his alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Parliament will return to work Monday. The session is to end on Thursday, Dec 22.


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