Shiv Sena walkout Rajya Sabha over Belgaum issue



New Delhi: Shiv Sena on Monday walked out of the Rajya Sabha when its demand for an immediate discussion on the Belgaum border dispute issue was disallowed by Chairman Hamid Ansari.

As soon as Ansari took up the Question Hour, Manohar Joshi (Shiv Sena) urged the chairman to allow a short duration discussion on the controversial issue.

To this, Ansari said the matter was sub-judice.

Joshi, however, insisted that the matter could be discussed in the House.

"I received a letter from Chairman's office on August 2, which allowed a discussion on the issue. However on August 6, I received another letter which said my request has been rejected. How can this happen?" Joshi asked.

"One letter allows discussion, another disallows it... I feel there is some pressure on the Chairman," Joshi said.

Seeking intervention of the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, he said, "We are trying to raise the issue for the last 12 days... I want an assurance from the minister."

Ansari then said all members should work out the parameters as to what is sub-judice and what is not. "I would request members to sit together and work out the meaning and ambit of sub-judice," he said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan said the Chairman has assured the members that a decision would be taken by tomorrow on discussing the issue.

Joshi, however, said that despite assurance from the Chairman, he would not be able to participate in the House's proceedings.

"Though the Chairman has given an assurance, I will not be able to participate in the proceedings," he said and walked out along with his party colleague Sanjay Raut.

Maharashtra and Karnataka have been involved in a long standing dispute over Belgaum, which falls in Karnataka but has a large number of Marathi-speaking population. The matter is before the Supreme Court for the last five years.

PTI