Swaraj misses plane to Nagpur, stays back to stall Parliament

Sushma Swaraj on Friday gave a miss to reception of Nitin Gadkari`s son as they got a `tip-off` that the government will try to run Parliament in the afternoon in the absence of opposition.

Updated: Dec 03, 2010, 21:00 PM IST

New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha
Sushma Swaraj and Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha S S
Ahluwalia on Friday gave a miss to reception of Nitin Gadkari`s
son as they got a `tip-off` that the government will try to
run Parliament in the afternoon in the absence of opposition.

Swaraj and Ahluwalia were to go in a special plane, along
with L K Advani, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar, Rajnath Singh and
others, to Nagpur to attend the reception of the party chief`s
son.
However, the BJP says it came to know that the government
was planning to run both Houses of Parliament -- which have
been adjourned for the last 15 working days without any proper
sitting -- for around 30 minutes in the absence of the
principal opposition just to send across a message.

"We decided that since our Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha
Gopinath Munde had to go as he is from Maharashtra and
expected to be there in Nagpur, I and Chief Whip Ramesh Bais
will stay back while in Rajya Sabha Ahluwalia offered to stay
back," Swaraj told reporters later.

The two senior leaders then asked other party MPs from
both Houses to cancel their trip to Nagpur and attend the
afternoon session.

While Lok Sabha had been adjourned after Zero Hour till
3:30 pm, the Rajya Sabha was to meet at 2:30 pm.

Ahluwalia and Swaraj led the BJP in Rajya Sabha and Lok
Sabha respectively and forced adjournment of the two Houses
for the day.
Swaraj said Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal and
Minister of State V Narayansamy were "surprised" to see her
in the Lok Sabha. Swaraj said she asked Bansal after the
adjournment whether he thought he could have really "fooled"
the opposition as planned.

Some BJP leaders said the special plane had been delayed
by an hour and Bais and others managed to take it. However,
others had to make alternative plans.

Gadkari has organised two receptions -- one today for the
elite and another tomorrow for the hoi-polloi. Swaraj,
Ahluwalia and others are now likely to attend the programme
tomorrow.

The change in plans also led to these MPs losing Rs
7,200 per head which they had given for their ticket in the
chartered plane. Some of these MPs were to be accompanied by
their personal assistants as well.

One of the less well-off BJP MPs, Rudra Narayan Pany,
said he was taking the Rajdhani to Nagpur and will reach there
tomorrow.

PTI