Thursday, April 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Privilege notice against Prime Minister’s remark
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 24
The Lok Sabha today witnessed noisy scenes for a while when RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said he had given a notice of privilege motion against Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for his yesterday’s reported remark casting “aspersions” on the Chair.

Raising the matter soon after the House assembled this morning, Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the Prime Minister had termed as “unfortunate” the Deputy Speaker Mr P.M. Sayeed’s, ruling admitting the Opposition censure motion on the Gujarat issue.

The RJD member was strongly supported by Congress and Left members who sought admission of the notice.

For five minutes the House saw agitated members seeking the Chair’s observation on Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s notice with Mr Sayeed asking the members to resume their seats and allow Question Hour.

Observing that the matter could be raised during zero hour, Mr Sayeed said “I have seen the report and I have also seen the denial in newspapers.

“We have to proceed according to rules. The established convention is that after the information is verified, then the House will decide what is to be done. Please leave it to me,” Mr Sayeed said.

The RJD leader said Mr Vajpayee being the leader of the House had lowered its dignity by questioning the ruling of the Chair.

But as soon as zero hour began, Dr Singh was again on his feet and sought to know the fate of the notice he had given.

The RJD member recalled that Mr Vajpayee during the birthday celebrations of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar last week had made an objectionable remark that had Godhra train attack not occurred the subsequent violence in Gujarat would not have taken place.

Pacifying the member, Mr Sayeed said “this is not the way... you have given the notice and it is under my consideration.”

Dr Singh again protested when the Deputy Speaker said there would be no zero hour and asked members to make special mentions under Rule 377 and he had heated exchanges with a BJP member.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan said it was agreed at the BAC meeting that there would be no zero hour and its report had been adopted by the House.

He did not see any reason why the member should protest, Mr Mahajan said.

The din subsided when Mr Sayeed ruled that he would allow the Opposition members to raise the issue in the House after verifying the press reports.

Meanwhile, the BJP has launched a systematic but a quiet campaign against the Deputy Speaker for admitting the Opposition’s motion under Rule 184.

The constant refrain from some of the BJP leaders is that the Deputy Speaker has opened floodgates for raising law and order issues of the states in Parliament. The BJP leaders are trying to equate incidents in Gujarat with simple law and order problems in different states.

Talking to newspersons, BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the BJP would support motions under Rule 184 on Bihar and West Bengal where killings much more than Gujarat had taken place.

The Deputy Speaker by bringing in Article 355 of the Constitution in his ruling has set the precedent for raising state’s law and order problems in Parliament, Mr Malhotra said.


RS admits move on Gujarat
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 24
The Lok Sabha having admitted the motion on Gujarat yesterday, the Rajya Sabha today followed suit admitting the Opposition-sponsored censure motion followed by voting and in the process ending the seven-day stalemate in the House.

Chairman Krishan Kant, who had adjourned the House yesterday for the day even while the Lok Sabha was taking a decision on the issue, today passed his ruling admitting the notice on the motion under Rule 170 which entails voting at the end of the discussion.

The House will take up the motion for discussion on May 2.

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