Washout in Parliament over Lalit Modi, Vyapam issues

Parliament today saw a washout as the opposition aggressively pressed for ouster of External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, as also Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, rejecting the government''s offer for a debate.
Washout in Parliament over Lalit Modi, Vyapam issues
File Photo

Parliament today saw a washout as the opposition aggressively pressed for ouster of External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, as also Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, rejecting the government's offer for a debate.

Both Houses saw strong demands for resignation of Swaraj and Raje for their dealings with Lalit Modi, former IPL Chairman who is being investigated by ED in an alleged money laundering case. There were also demands for Chouhan's resignation in connection with the Vyapam scam.

While RajyaSabha failed to transact any business for the second straight day due to the uproar, LokSabha was paralysed on the first working day of the Monsoon Session. Both Houses were adjourned for the day, minutes past 2 PM.

In the Upper House, as soon as obituary references were made, several opposition parties, including the Congress, BSP and the Left, insisted that no debate was possible without the resignation of Swaraj, Raje and Chouhan.

The verbal clash continued whenever the House met after adjournments, leading to further adjournments.

Same was the scene in LokSabha, which had its first working day today as it was adjourned yesterday immediately after convening as a mark of tribute to a sitting member who passed away recently.

It was repeatedly disrupted ever since it met for the day as members of Congress and Left kept storming the Well with placards despite Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's warning of disciplinary action. 

The placards read 'Bade Modimeherban, to chhoteModipehelwan' (a Hindi idiom meaning that a small person is strong if supported by a powerful person) and 'PM chuppitodo' (PM, break your silence), Modiji 56 inch dikhao, Sushma, Rajekoturanthatao (Show your 56 inch chest by removing Swaraj and Raje).

RJD and NCP members were seen supporting them.

Swaraj was sitting in the front row along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Transport Minister NitinGadkari.

Congress members were also sporting black badges on their arms to register their protests and continued wearing them and carrying placards despite Speaker's warning against doing so.

TRS members also contributed to the uproar by raising the demand for a separate High Court for Telangana. At present, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana share the same High Court, two years after the bifurcation.

Mahajan disapproved of the action of the protesting members and warned that "in the event of disorderly conduct, I would be constrained to initiate appropriate disciplinary action against erring members".

She said she has always provided "adequate" opportunity to all sections of the House to raise matters of topical interest and hoped that all the members would adhere to the set norms of etiquette and standards of behaviour.

This added fuel to the fire and immediately Congress and Left members again stormed the Well while those from the TRS trooped into the Well in support of their demand for a separate High Court for Telangana.

This forced the Speaker to adjourn the House for two hours, a few minutes after noon. The House witnessed similar scenes when it met at 2 PM, when Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai adjourned the House for the day.

The only work done was the green signal given to a motion seeking extension of the term of the Joint Committee of Parliament on Land Acquisition Bill. 

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