RS adjourned twice after uproar over Bofors issue



New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Thursday witnessed two adjournments in the pre-noon session after uproar by Opposition BJP and AIADMK over a former Swedish police chief's allegation that payoffs were made in purchase of Bofors guns during the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's tenure.

BJP and AIADMK members displayed copies of a newspaper interview given by Swedish police chief Sten Lindstrom where he said Gandhi did nothing to prevent the cover-up to protect Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, who is alleged to have received pay-offs in the case.

Chairman Hamid Ansari said the Question Hour will not be suspended and asked members to resume their places.

"Please allow Question Hour to proceed... The Question Hour cannot be suspended," he said and took up the first listed question of the day.

But as the opposition members were unrelenting, he adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

When the House met again, similar scenes were repeated with BJP members shouting slogans, "Quattrocchi ko kis ney bachaya (Who saved Quattrocchi)".

Ansari repeatedly asked the members to take their seats and raise the issue during Zero Hour.

"Please sit down. Allow Question Hour to proceed. Raise the issue at 1200 hours," he pleaded with the agitated members.

Every time BJP members shouted "Who saved Quattrocchi", ruling Congress members joined the chorus shouting "BJP ney bachaya (BJP saved him)".

Mani Shankar Aiyar (Cong) said Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitely was the Additional Solicitor General who had done paper work in the Bofors investigation case.

Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) said very serious questions have been raised by the former Swiss police chief while his party members continued shouting slogans.

Amid din, Ansari adjourned the House till noon.

PTI