Uproar in Rajya Sabha over Mamata's stand on Azad



New Delhi: There was uproar in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday over Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's speech in Lalgarh questioning the manner in which Maoist leader Azad had been killed.

Left party leaders raised the issue during zero hour with Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury seeking a clarification from the government.

"The Prime Minister was in the House during question hour and we have asked him to stay for the zero hour but he left. He should have been present when the issue was being raised. He himself has said that Maoists are the gravest threat to the security of the country... on the other hand, a minister of the cabinet rank is patronising Maoists," Yechury said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan said in response that "all these are media reports and nothing happened on ground. So we cannot take action based on media reports".

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad countered the assertion, saying he had seen Mamata Banerjee speaking on TV.

Trinamool Congress members Mukul Roy and Dinesh Trivedi objected to this but were told that they were present in the upper house as ministers and could not create an uproar.

At the rally earlier this month in Lalgarh, Banerjee condemned the "manner" in which Azad was killed at Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh July 2.

Banerjee Wednesday stuck to her comments suggesting that Maoist leader Azad was killed in a staged shootout and said she was happy the rebels had responded to calls from the president and the prime minister to come for talks.

IANS