New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar`s
end-of-the-session tea party on Thursday was boycotted by Leader of
the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and senior BJP leader LK Advani
in protest against disruptions during his efforts to raise the
cash-for-vote scam issue in the House.
The immediate provocation was the uproar caused by the
Congress members during Advani`s speech in Lok Sabha in which
he hailed the two former BJP MPs- Faggan Singh Kulaste and
Mahavir Bhagore- for acting as "whistleblowers" in the
cash-for-vote scam and insisting that if they are guilty then
he too should be sent behind bars.
Advani was peeved at the disruption and registered his
protest with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal after
Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House sine die.
When Bansal saw Advani and Swaraj walking away instead
of moving towards the Speaker`s office for the customary tea
party, he walked upto them. An angry Advani told Bansal that
Congress members should not have behaved in the manner they
did when he was speaking on the cash-for-vote scam.
Bansal`s attempts to pacify him did not bear fruit and
he walked away with Swaraj. The Leader of Opposition did send
Deputy Leader of BJP in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde, Chief Whip
Ramesh Bais and senior MP Shahnawaz Hussain to attend the tea
Swaraj and the Speaker have not been on the best of
terms in this session of Parliament. This was seen during
several debates in the House as well as the issue of extension
given to Lok Sabha Secretary General TK Vishwanathan which
was opposed by Swaraj.