RS members clash with BJP over Lankan Tamils



New Delhi: DMK, a key UPA ally, on Wednesday joined AIADMK in staging a walkout in the Rajya Sabha after Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan did not allow discussion on the problems of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Members from Tamil Nadu, including from the Left parties, wanted the short duration discussion on the problems of Sri Lankan Tamils on the day itself, while the BJP pressed for a debate on the burning issue of corruption.

The argument was about, which of the two subjects should be taken up first. While BJP Deputy Leader S S Ahluwlia wanted discussion on corruption in the wake of Hazare's agitation, members from Tamil Nadu were unrelenting in their demand.

Hoping the issue could be resolved through a brief adjournment, Khan adjourned the House for 15 minutes at around 1210 hrs. When the House reassembled, the Chair gave the ruling that the Tamil issue would be taken up tomorrow.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla also favoured that corruption debate should take place today itself.

This led to the DMK and AIADMK members protesting and staging a walkout.

"DMK is part of the government, what is happening in the government," D Raja (CPI) said, as he also sought an assurance from all sections of the House that the problem of Sri Lankan Tamils was not limited to Tamil Nadu.

RJD and LJP also wanted discussion on Tamils issue today itself.

But, finally the issue was resolved after the BJP members said the Tamil issue could be taken up tomorrow.

PTI