Thursday, March 15, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

‘Tehelka’ in both Houses of Parliament
Tribune News Service and Agencies

New Delhi, March 14
Dogged by revelations of shady defence deals, Parliament was adjourned for the day today following vociferous demands by the entire Opposition seeking the resignation of the Vajpayee government.

The expose by revealed the nexus between commission agents, bureaucrats, senior defence officers and several ruling party politicians, including the Presidents of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Samata Party, in shady defence deals.

As expected the startling revelations of corruption in the defence deals by high-ranking Army officials in connivance with senior bureaucrats and influential politicians yesterday cast its shadow on Parliament today with a determined Opposition blocking proceedings in both Houses, vociferously demanding the resignation of the Vajpayee government.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day soon after assembling in the morning, while the Lok Sabha was adjourned twice, the second time in the day after being adjourned till 1 pm earlier in the day.

In the Rajya Sabha, senior Congress members Ambika Soni and Suresh Pachouri led the slogan-shouting members, though Mr Manmohan Singh and Mr Pranab Mukherjee were also present. Ministers Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj, and Arun Jaitley were present at the Treasury Benches.

In the Lok Sabha, the BJP members were also on their feet making loud submissions, though nothing could be heard in the din. Even before Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi entered the House at 11 am the Opposition trooped into the well of the House raising slogans, alleging the involvement of top leaders of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the shady defence deal.

The Opposition raised slogans like “gali gali mein shor hai, Prime Minister chor hai”.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee entered the House flanked by Home Minister L.K. Advani and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan a minute before the House was to begin.

Most of the ministers, including Defence Minister George Fernandes, Civil Aviation Minister Sharad Yadav, Communications Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Agriculture Minister Nitish Kumar were present.

The BJP members also stood on their feet and shouted “chor machaye shor”.

The Leader of the Opposition, Ms Sonia Gandhi, Congress spokesperson Jaipal Reddy, Mr Buta Singh and Mr Madhav Rao Scindia were also in the House.

The Speaker asked the agitating members to give their notices to him (for discussing the matter) and go back to their seats. But the Opposition did not relent and was adamant that it would not settle for anything short of the Prime Minister’s resignation.

As appeals for calm and decorum fell on deaf ears, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day after five minutes of tumultuous scenes.

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