M A I N   N E W S

Laloo must go, says Vajpayee
Dismiss Modi government, insists Laloo
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today demanded the resignation of Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav on moral grounds for the Sabarmati Express train accident.

However, the Railway Minister stood by his statement that a murderous attack was launched on him by members of the Sangh Parivar during his visit to the accident site and demanded the dismissal of the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat.

Both Houses witnessed acrimonious scenes with the BJP-led Opposition and the RJD members trading charges against one another.

While the Opposition demanded the resignation of Mr Yadav, the RJD members countered by demanding the dismissal of the Modi government.

Several times during the day, both the Houses were disrupted and were adjourned as the Opposition and the Treasury Benches stuck to their stand. Seeking Mr Yadav’s resignation, Mr Vajpayee called upon the members to discuss and decide whether the House would be allowed to function on moral values or not.

He said for the effective and smooth functioning of the House it was a must that ministers like Mr Yadav should quit.

“We have a tradition where members resigned, even of my party, when at fault,” he said, adding that it would have been better had Mr Yadav tendered his resignation on moral grounds instead of the Opposition demanding it.

Amid repeated interruptions from the members of the Left and the RJD, Mr Vajpayee, who was allowed by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chaterjee to air his party’s views on the issue, appealed to the Chair to order for the deletion of objectionable remarks made by the Railway Minister against a few organisations in his statement.

“The RSS, Bajrang Dal and VHP were behind the murderous attack on me,” Mr Yadav told the Rajya Sabha after the NDA staged a walkout.

“Thousands of people were killed in riots (in Gujarat). Why (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee did not remove Modi or take his resignation... and they are now teaching me lessons in morality,” he said.

Besides, an affidavit by a senior police official on the role of Mr Modi during the riots had exposed the state government, he said, adding that “Gujarat is a fit case for imposition of President’s rule in the state.”

Rejecting the Opposition demand, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachouri cited the continuation of BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in the previous NDA government despite charges being framed against them in the demolition case.

Mr Vajpayee had then said the filing of chargesheets was not enough ground for removing them as ministers, he added.

Later talking to newspersons, Mr Vajpayee said what was taking place in Parliament and the scenes witnessed inside the House were “dangerous for parliamentary democracy.”

“What is happening in the House is not proper and it should not happen. Members should have some respect for parliamentary democracy,” he said.

“Mujhe bahut kashat ho raha hai, bahut important kam karna tha. (I am greatly anguished as important businesses had to be conducted),” the Speaker said while adjourning the House for the day.

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