Wednesday, April 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Censure move on Gujarat admitted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 23
Even as the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the seventh day in succession without transacting any business, the six-day impasse in the Lok Sabha over the Opposition’s demand to discuss the Gujarat issue under Rule 184 entailing voting, ended today with Deputy Speaker P.M. Sayeed admitting the censure motion.

Rejecting the contention of the Treasury Benches, Deputy Speaker P.M. Sayeed, said in his ruling admitting the motion: “The Gujarat situation cannot be construed as an ordinary law and order matter which is the concern only of the state government.”

“More importantly, I would urge all Members of the House to remind themselves of Article 355 of the Constitution according to which it shall be the duty of the Union to protect every state, inter alia, against internal disturbance and ensure that the government of every state is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution,” Mr Sayeed said, pointing out to the Centre’s failure to perform its constitutional duty.

The Deputy Speaker said the time for discussion may be decided by the Business Advisory Committee (BAC).

Meanwhile, the BAC has decided to conduct the discussion under Rule 184 on April 30 after the Finance Bill is adopted by the Lok Sabha on April 29. The discussion will be initiated by Samajwadi Party member Ramji Lal Suman who was the first to give notice.

Before the ruling was given, BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said after a meeting of the group that the ruling coalition would abide by the Deputy Speaker’s ruling.

Shortly after Mr Sayeed’s much-awaited ruling, the House began normal business taking up question hour after the whole of last week and yesterday was lost in disruption over the mode of discussion on the Gujarat violence.

Mr Sayeed’s ruling comes after the House witnessed pandemonium for six days leading to adjournments without the transaction of any legislative business.

While the Treasury Benches had demanded a short-duration discussion under Rule 193, which does not involve voting, the Opposition had pressed for a censure motion under Rule 184 that makes voting mandatory.

Giving reasons for admitting the notices, the Chair said: “The ground situation in Gujarat is that there have been serious incidents of violence even subsequent to the earlier discussion in the House”.

Observing that these incidents had also been widespread in several districts of the state, he said hundreds had been killed or injured, thousands were in relief camps and property had been extensively damaged.

He said the National Human Rights Commission, the Minorities Commission and independent women activists of national repute had commented on the gravity of the situation after visiting the state.

While the Opposition moved 89 notices of motion under Rule 184, seven were given by Treasury Benches for a debate under Rule 193 on the Gujarat situation. Three notices under Rule 184 from Mr Basudeb Acharia, (CPM), Mr Ajoy Chakrborty (CPI), and Mr Akhilesh Singh (SP) were not admitted.

Of the Opposition notices, 22 identical notices were moved by Mr G.M. Banatwala (Muslim League) and others, while 61 with identical text were given by Mr S. Jaipal Reddy (Congress) and others.

Mr Sayeed said he had disallowed a communication from TDP leader K. Yerran Naidu which sought a discussion on the Gujarat issue but did not mention any rule.

Stating that the House was “sharply divided” on the modality of discussion, he said this had led to “persistent commotion” in the House ever since it was reconvened on April 15 for the second phase of the Budget session.

“In the process, we have already lost six precious working days due to the forced adjournment of the House without transacting any business, he pointed out.

Terming the Gujarat situation as a matter of “general public interest” within the meaning of Rule 184, Mr Sayeed said the notices of motion did “raise a substantial and definite issue”.

The Speaker said his sincere efforts to resolve the deadlock in the House had failed despite he having convened a high-level meeting attended by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi and leaders of other political parties.

“Unfortunately, a common-meeting ground could not be reached. I adjourned the meeting with the hope that perhaps the ruling and Opposition parties would be able to reach a consensus over the matter during the week-end. But my hope has been belied,” he said.

Emphasising that the House could ill-afford to lose valuable time as essential financial business still remained to be transacted, the Deputy Speaker observed it had become his duty to take a decision on the matter.

He also cited a 1997 precedent when an adjournment motion on developments in Bihar was converted into a motion under Rule 184 and disposed accordingly.

Meanwhile, no business was transacted in the Rajya Sabha today as slogan-shouting members stalled the proceedings in the House on the Gujarat issue.

Chairman Krishan Kant adjourned the House six minutes after it assembled in the morning after his repeated pleas for maintaining order had no effect on the members.

The Opposition remained adamant on its demand for a discussion and voting on the Gujarat issue. Opposition members also continuously shouted slogans “Modi hatao, desh bachao” even as the Chairman repeatedly said that there should be no sloganeering in the House.Back


8 die in Gujarat violence

Ahmedabad, April 23
Eight more deaths in Ahmedabad city today pushed the toll in the post-Godhra communal violence in Gujarat to 822 as curfew was extended to some more areas.

Four persons were killed in Ahmedabad city today, while three injured in the violence over the past seven weeks succumbed to their injuries at hospital. One person was burnt alive at Aslali in Ahmedabad rural district.

One person was burnt to death in the minority-dominated Juhapura area on the outskirts of the city. The victim was riding a scooter, when a mob pounced on him and set him ablaze, sources said.

The police said one person was injured in police firing in Shahpur area, while another was electrocuted while trying to extinguish fire in his hut in Khanpur.

A youth was stabbed today in the Teen Darwaja area. He was admitted to a local hospital where his condition was reported to be stable.

Indefinite curfew was imposed in Amdupura and Saraspur areas under Shaher Kotda police station limits after mob violence and arson.

A dargah and seven shops were set ablaze by a mob here today.

Food being served to affected people
Food being served to affected people in riot-hit parts of Ahmedabad on Tuesday. — PTI photo

Curfew was also imposed as a precautionary measure in Sarkhej area in Ahmedabad rural due to violent incidents in adjoining Vejalpur area.

Today’s violence in Ahmedabad left as many as 22 injured. Of them, 11 were injured in police firing, four in stabbing and six in stone-throwing. They included eight persons, including two students, who were injured near G B Shah College in Juhapura area of the city.

The police also imposed indefinite curfew in three police station areas of Jivrajpark, Juhapura and Vejalpur from 3.30 pm this afternoon.

This evening, a mob set on fire five shops in Dariyakhan Ghoomat locality behind the city police commissionerate in Madhavpura police station area. the police fired several rounds and lobbed tear gas shells. The police foiled an attack at a relief camp in Chota Udepur town of Vadodara district by tribals. UNI, PTIBack

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