WikiLeaks expose: Parliament disrupted, adjourned

Last Updated: Friday, March 18, 2011 - 13:54

New Delhi: The WikiLeaks expose on the alleged `cash-for-votes` scam in 2008 today disrupted Parliament proceedings, as a united Opposition demanded a clarification from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the matter.

Soon after the Lok Sabha assembled, Speaker Meira Kumar asked Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj to move a calling attention on the problems being faced by Indian fishermen due
to frequent attacks by Srilankan Navy.

However, Swaraj said "the government has lost its moral right to rule" after the expose of the contents of the American diplomatic cables alleging that the UPA-I government had bribed MPs to win the 2008 trust vote after the Left parties withdrew support on the Indo-US nuclear deal.... (hence) it is not possible to call attention of any minister of this government."

Swaraj demanded a statement from the Prime Minister.

Rising in her support, BJP Parliamentary party chief LK Advani pointed out that yesterday also when Swaraj started her speech, "the entire treasury bench was on its feet" trying to prevent her from speaking.

Countering them, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal strongly objected to Swaraj raising the Wikileaks issue instead of calling attention of the government on the issue of fishermen listed by her.
"I agree that the Leader of the Opposition has the right to raise any issue in the House, but during Calling Attention she should stick to the subject," Bansal said.

Swaraj again demanded that the Prime Minister should come to the House and make a statement. "The entire country is waiting for the Prime Minister to make a statement and explain. This is disrespect to the House."
The entire Opposition was on its feet and shouted slogans - `Call the PM` and `PM come to the House`. This led the Speaker to adjourn the House till 1215 hours.

In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley wanted to speak on the issue, but was not allowed by Congress members, who vociferously objected to the BJP disrupting the proceedings for the last few days.

Amid din, Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan adjourned the House first for 15 minutes and then till 2.30 pm.

No Parliament sitting on Monday

There will be no sitting of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha on Monday, giving MPs an extended Holi holiday.

Holi, a festival of colours, will be celebrated across the country on Sunday.

Announcements in this regard were made by Speaker Meira Kumar in the Lok Sabha and Chairman Hamid Ansari in the Rajya Sabha soon after the two houses met for the day.

PTI/IANS



First Published: Friday, March 18, 2011 - 13:54

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