Saturday, April 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

PM dares Oppn to table no-trust move
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
In a bid to find a way out of the impasse, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today dared the Opposition to move a no-confidence motion against his government in the Lok Sabha as the stand off on the Gujarat issue continued to paralyse Parliament for the fifth day today.

A visibly happy Congress President Sonia Gandhi
A visibly happy Congress President Sonia Gandhi at an all-party meeting convened at Parliament House on Gujarat issue on Friday. — PTI photo

The Prime Minister told an all-party meeting convened by Deputy Speaker P.M. Sayeed to evolve a consensus and break the deadlock on Gujarat that the Opposition could move a no-confidence motion or even a cut motion if it wanted to test the strength of the ruling NDA in the Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan said while briefing newspersons after the meeting.

The Prime Minister rejected the Opposition charge that the government was shying from a trial of strength but said it was ready to face a no-trust motion.

About the government’s position on the Opposition demand for a discussion under Rule 184 which entails voting, Mr Mahajan said the NDA felt such a debate was not feasible under the business rules since the Gujarat issue had already been raised in the House. Besides, the Centre was not directly involved.

Another reason that the Gujarat violence was being probed by an inquiry commission went against a debate under Rule 184, he said, observing that a final decision whether the discussion should be held under Rule 184 or Rule 193, which does not require voting, had to be decided by the Chair.

Besides a no-confidence motion as suggested by the Prime Minister, the Opposition could also move a cut motion to defeat the Finance Bill, the Minister said, adding that there were ways in which the Opposition could test whether the ruling alliance had a majority.

Mr Mahajan said a censure discussion was not possible under the rules of business since the Gujarat issue had already been raised in the House.

He said another reason why it could not be debated was because the violence was being probed by an inquiry commission.

The Minister said during the meeting, attended by among others, Leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi, there was unanimity that there should be discussion in the House on Gujarat but there was “sharp division” whether there should be voting or not on the issue.

He said the government had time till May 14 to get the General and Railways Budgets, Appropriation Bills and the Finance Bill passed by both the Houses.

While the Prime Minister wanted a discussion under Rule 193 which does not entail voting, Mrs Sonia Gandhi and other Opposition leaders, including Mr Chatterjee, rejected it, saying that such a discussion would be short.

Mrs Gandhi said the matter should be discussed under Rule 184 so that the stand of various parties became clear (during voting).

Crucial BJP allies like the TDP and Trinamool Congress, which have demanded Mr Modi’s removal, said they wanted a discussion on Gujarat but left it to the Chair to decide under which rule it should be taken up.

The Trinamool Congress along with two other allies JD(U) and MDMK did not attend the hour-long meeting. The JD(U) and MDMK are also opposed to voting.

Meanwhile, BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra lashed out at the Congress and the other Opposition parties, saying that they were wasting precious time and money of the country by stalling Parliament proceedings.

Meanwhile, the entire Opposition today remained firm on its demand for a discussion on the situation in Gujarat in the Lok Sabha under Rule 184, which entails voting, when Parliament resumes sitting from Monday next.

Addressing mediapersons today after the two Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the fifth consecutive day till Monday without transacting any business over the issue, CPM Parliamentary Party leader Somnath Chatterjee said there was no question of giving up their demand.

The government no doubt enjoyed support of the majority of the Members in the Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister was on record as saying that, if necessary, he could prove majority support for his government. It was, therefore, not convincing why the government was trying to avoid discussion on the issue under Rule 184, Mr Chatterjee said.

He was also critical of the government, particularly the leader of the Lok Sabha (Mr Vajpayee), for not taking any initiative in resolving the deadlock in Parliament. The government had no business to blame the Opposition for the impasse in the two Houses for the past five days, the Marxist leader said.

He recalled how the Opposition led by Mr Vajpayee, who was the Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha, had stalled proceedings in the House for 13 successive days, demanding the resignation of Mr Sukh Ram, who was then Minister for Communication. Mr Sukh Ram was forced to quit because of the agitation against him in Parliament, Mr Chatterjee said.Back


LS, RS adjourned again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19
There was no business transacted in Parliament for the fifth consecutive day today over the Gujarat issue with an unrelenting Opposition insisting on the ouster of Chief Minister Narendra Modi leading to unruly scenes and eventually the adjournment of both Houses till Monday.

As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled, members from the Congress, the Left party, the Samajwadi Party and the RJD benches stormed the well shouting slogans “Modi hatao desh bachao” (Remove Modi, save the country) and “Narendra Modi khooni hai, Gujarat ki galian sooni hai” (Modi is a killer, streets of Gujarat are desolate).

Ruling BJP members, who moved up to the front benches, sought to counter the Opposition onslaught by demanding an apology from Leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi for her recent remarks at Guwahati against Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

The BJP members were, however, persuaded by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan to return to their seats.

As the uproar continued, TDP leader K. Yerrannaidu was heard telling Deputy Speaker P.M. Sayeed that he wanted to make a statement on the Gujarat issue. The TDP, a key ally of the ruling NDA, has been demanding removal of Mr Modi.

With the Opposition members refusing to heed to his pleas, Mr Sayeed adjourned the House for the day.

In Rajya Sabha, Congress members were on their feet seeking discussion on the Gujarat issue under Rule 170 that entails voting.

Led by newly elected Congress member Mulana Abaidulolah Azmi, they shouted “Bharat Varsh ka nara hai, desh bachana hai, Modi hatana hai desh bachana hai” (the slogan of Indians is to save the country and remove Modi).

Countering the Opposition demand, BJP members said they would not yield to it.

Sensing the mood, Chairman Krishan Kant adjourned the house for the day within five minutes of its assembling.Back

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