M A I N   N E W S

Price rise, terror rock Parliament
Both Houses adjourned
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 24
The Monsoon Session of Parliament began today without transacting any business, with unrelenting Opposition in the Lok Sabha disrupting the Question Hour, demanding a discussion on the government’s “failure” to check terrorism and the rise in the of prices of essential commodities. In the pandemonium that continued the Speaker was forced to adjourn the two Houses for the day.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned immediately after paying homage to its sitting member Vasant Chavan (NCP) and those killed in the Mumbai terror attack.

The Lower House congratulated the armed forces and others for rescuing five-year-old boy Prince in Kurukshetra, who was trapped in a small and 60 feet deep hole for over 50 hours.

Demanding suspension of the Question Hour to allow debate on these pressing issues, slogan- shouting Opposition members stormed the well, forcing the adjournment of the House for the day within 40 minutes of commencement of proceedings.

In the Lok Sabha, NDA members, including those from BJP-Shiv Sena, BJD and Akali Dal continuously shouted slogans like “jo sarkar mehangai na rok sake, jo sarkar atankwad no rok sake, woh sarkar nikammi hai (a government which cannot contain price rise and terrorism, is an incompetent government).”

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee repeatedly pleaded with them to return to their seats and allow normal business, saying he was ready to permit the Opposition to move the adjournment moting after the Question Hour. Demanding suspension of the question hour, BJPs Deputy Leader V K Malhotra said people were agitated at the price rise. "This is a deaf government. It should awake from its slumber."

Railway Minister and RJD leader Lalu Prasad, seated on the front row with Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi, was seen jeering at the Opposition while waving the controversial book authored by BJP leader Jaswant Singh 'A Call to Honour'.

The newly-released book gives details about the then NDA government's handling of the 1999 crisis surrounding the hijack of Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar in Afghanistan which ended with the release of three dreaded terrorists.

However, as the Opposition continued to be unrelenting, the Speaker adjourned the House till tomorrow, saying he had no choice.

The Speaker even had a poser for the Leader of the Opposition, Mr L K Advani, "whether the House will be allowed to function or not"?

“I kept my promise …. But unfortunately, you have not kept your promise,” Chatterjee told opposition benches.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, who held hectic consultations with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other leaders, said “we will not concede to their demand for adjournment and will not submit to such disruption.”

Deploring the Mumbai blasts, Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat said the killing of so many innocent persons has shocked the entire nation.

Later talking to newspersons, Dasmunshi said the government was opposed to a second adjournment motion being taken up in the House. “This morning, suddenly the BJP changed their stance and disrupted the Question Hour and, therefore, the question of taking up again another adjournment motion is not valid,” he said.

CPM floor leader in Lok Sabha Basudeb Achariya accused the BJP of weakening the parliamentary system of bringing in an adjournment motion. “We gave 40 adjournment notices when NDA was in power, but only three were admitted. But in the 14th Lok Sabha four such notices have already been disposed of,” he pointed out.




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