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Moga incident rocks Parliament, Opposition demands President's Rule in Punjab

The alleged molestation and death of a teenaged girl in Moga in Punjab resonated in both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday with opposition demanding a discussion on the issue and Rajya Sabha witnessing two adjournments after uproar.

New Delhi: The alleged molestation and death of a teenaged girl in Moga in Punjab resonated in both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday with opposition demanding a discussion on the issue and Rajya Sabha witnessing two adjournments after uproar.

Soon after the Rajya Sabha met for the day, Congress members raised the issue with Ambika Sonia alleging there was a complete breakdown of law and order in Punjab, which necessitated the Centre's intervention.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said it was a "very serious issue as those who are ruling the state are owners of the bus...Police action has been only against those involved in the molestation but owners of the bus have been left out."

He said the case is incomplete without the owners being booked. "There is anger in Punjab and people of the village did not cremate the body of the victim for three days. Keeping in view the anger in the state, action should be taken against the owners of the bus."

In the Lok Sabha, Congress members raising the Moga incident and disrupted proceedings of the House, causing several adjournments.

The House witnessed heat when Amarinder Singh (Cong) raised the issue of the death of a 13-year-old girl in Moga after she was allegedly thrown off a moving bus after being molested by the staff of the bus belonging to a company owned by the ruling Badal family of Punjab.

"Law and order situation in Punjab is bleak," Singh said, adding that this was not the first time that Orbit buses have been involved in such cases.

Amid protests by SAD members, he said the incident was a "culmination" of the "detriorating" law and order in Punjab.

Other parties in Rajya Sabha including the Left joined in the protest with Mayawati (BSP) demanding imposition of President's rule in the state.

She said no action has been taken against the culprits. "Life and property of women in Punjab is in danger... President's rule should be imposed," she said.

The demand for a discussion on the issue was strongly opposed by Akali Dal members, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourn the House twice even as the opposition continued to vociferously press its demand.

Akali Dal leaders vociferously protested against the

raising of the issue in the House, but the members kept speaking, at times even without notice.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said the Chair should allow the the Moga incident to be discussed."Because of the importance of the incident, please allow us to discuss," he said.

"How can a sitting Minister say that molestation is an act of God? This is a very grievous matter. Please allow the debate," he said, adding that it was not a state subject.

Strong protests by Akali members did not deter Congress members who entered the aisles and raised slogans like "Mafia Raj nahin chalega, nahin chalega".

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (SAD) rose to counter the Congress but was not allowed to speak even as Naresh Gujral (SAD) asked how the Chair had allowed the opposition members to speak.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said no member can raise an issue without notice as per traditions of the House and added that no member has given a notice on the issue.

In the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Amarinder Singh took on the SAD-BJP government saying, "how does a state function? Your economy is in shambles. Your law and order is in a shambles". He said several incidents had taken place in the recent past which reflected worsening law and order in Punjab.

The former Punjab Chief Minister had given a notice for adjournment motion over the incident.

However, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan disallowed him, saying the issue had been raised in the House earlier, a point also made by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu who said rules did not pemit an issue to be raised twice in the same session.

Taking a dig at Amarinder Singh, Naidu said he remains absent and suddenly appears and raises an issue when it has already been raised by another member.

Singh, who met the parents of the girl in Moga yesterday, alleged that that the victim was pushed off a moving bus of the Orbit company owned by the ruling Badal family.

As the ruckus in Rajya Sabha continued, Anand Sharma

(Cong) said this was a very serious issue and the House should condemn the incident.

Kurien said no notice on the subject has been given. "I am not saying anything about merit of what you are saying. All I have said is please give notice."

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said there was competition amongst Congress leaders to speak on the issue.

"I feel sad when the Chair gives an opportunity to Leader of Opposition and not the members of the ruling party in the state...That is not normally done. We are trying to score political points. If you want to say something against a particular government, then members of the state also have the right to speak," he said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the state government had taken immediate action against the culprits and it was not proper to discuss the working of state governments in the House. "If you want to discuss various issues, give a notice," he said.

Kurien said he has two notices for suspension of business under rule 267 on separate issues and wanted to dispose of them first.

Soon after the notices were disallowed after the movers spoke briefly, Opposition was again on their feet raising the Moga incident.

Kurien however insisted that a notice be given seeking a discussion on the issue. But opposition members were unrelenting and moved into the aisles shouting slogans, forcing adjournment.

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