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Chaos over tainted ministers’ issue
Both Houses of Parliament adjourned
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 8
Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned today without transacting much business as the Opposition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued with its scathing attack on the UPA government for inducting "tainted" persons in the Union Council of Ministers.

While the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day minutes after it assembled at 11 a.m., the Lok Sabha was first adjourned till 2 p.m. and immediately thereafter as angry members of the Opposition continued its tirade against the government.

In the Lok Sabha, as soon as the first item of swearing-in of a few remaining members was completed, vociferous members of the BJP and its allies started raising slogans against the induction of "tainted" ministers and trooped to the well of the House.

Raising slogans such as "Dagi Mantri Hatao, Desh Bachao (remove tainted ministers and save the country)" and "Bapu Tere Desh Main, Dagi Mantri Ke Bhesh Mein (tainted people are ministers in the land of Mahatma Gandhi)", Opposition members demanded that the "tainted" ministers be dropped.

NDA convener George Fernandes, who was seated next to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was among the first ones to raise the issue of "tainted" ministers. This sparked off protests from the treasury benches, especially from RJD member Raghunath Jha and some of his other party colleagues. RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav was seen asking his party colleagues to exercise restraint.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee, HRD Minister Arjun Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil were seated in the first row of the ruling side.

Amid the din, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee directed that the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address to joint sitting of Parliament be initiated.

Congress member Pawan Kumar Bansal moved the motion expressing gratitude to the President for his address and criticised the NDA government for its anti-people policies.

Mr Chatterjee called upon Congress member Jyotiraditya Scindia to second the motion of Mr Bansal.

Mr Scindia completed his speech amid uproarious scenes and slogans by Opposition members. The Speaker adjourned the House within 30 minutes of assembling in the morning.

Similar scenes were witnessed when the House re-assembled for the post-lunch sitting, the Opposition members rushed to the well shouting "we want justice". The Speaker adjourned the House till tomorrow.

The Rajya Sabha also witnessed uproarious scenes on the same issue as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj raised a Point of Order on behalf of the Opposition. She said Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh wanted to raise the issue of "tainted" ministers in the House but the members of the ruling alliance did not allow him to speak.

Despite repeated pleas made by Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat to initiate proceedings, the charges and counter charges between the Opposition and treasury benches continued. As the din continued from both sides, with slogan-raising for about 20 minutes, the Chair adjourned the House for the day.


BJP not to relent on ‘tainted’ ministers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 8
Refusing to relent on the “tainted” ministers issue, the BJP today asserted that it would continue to maintain its aggressive posture till they were dismissed or made to resign from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet.

The party also justified the BJP MPs action of protesting in the well of the House, in contravention to the agreement reached in an all-party meeting a couple of years ago, saying “the Opposition is left with no other option but to counter the steam-rolling attitude of the UPA government.”

Asserting that there is a “sea difference” between political cases and cases of corruption, murder and both cannot be equated, BJP parliamentary party spokesperson Vijay Kumar Malhotra wanted to know how persons who had to resign as Chief Minister and ministers from the Bihar Government on the same set of cases could be inducted as Cabinet ministers at the Centre.

“First they did not allow our Leaders of Opposition in the Houses to speak on the issue and today they tried to steam-roll the Opposition by moving the motion on President’s address and also seconding it amid din.... It is really unfortunate and we condemn it,” Mr Malhotra said.

Asked how could the BJP justify the continuation of former Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani and other former Union Ministers M. M. Joshi and Uma Bharti against whom charge sheets were filed in the Babri Masjid demolition case, in the Vajpayee Cabinet, Mr Malhotra said, “there is a lot of difference between political cases and cases of corruption, murder”.

“There was no minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet who had criminal background or charged with corruption cases. It is unfair and illogical for these ‘tainted’ ministers to compare their inclusion in the Cabinet with Mr Advani, Mr Joshi and Ms Bharti,” Mr Malhotra said.Back

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