M A I N   N E W S

After much heat, Elders decide to discuss communal violence
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
Bowing to demands of opposition parties, the Rajya Sabha will hold a discussion on communal violence that has affected minorities in certain states, acts of terrorism that have plagued the country and rising prices of essential commodities. All three issues had rocked the Upper House on the opening day of the Parliament session here this morning.

The discussion will be conducted next week when the Rajya Sabha resumes its sitting on Monday. A decision to discuss these issues was taken at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) headed by chairman Hamid Ansari.

This morning, the BJP, the BSP and the Left had raised the demand to hold the discussion. The House had just finished making obituary references in memory of some former MPs and also Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw.

The Left MPs led by Sitaram Yechury asked why the people who died in communal riots were not mentioned in the obituaries. Earlier, Hamid Ansari had paid tributes to those killed in bomb blasts, stampedes and the recent floods. Members of the entire opposition stormed the well of the House.

A meeting of the BAC, which has members of all parties in the House, was convened after the House was adjourned abruptly for the day. At the meeting, the MPs from the Left parties and the Rashtriya Janata Dal demanded that the House should have a discussion on communal violence which rocked various parts of the country recently, sources said.

BJP members were keen on all issues but made it clear that terrorism should be discussed first. Demands for discussing the prevailing economic situation in the country with particular reference to spiralling prices were also made.

Earlier the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for 35 minutes on the opening day following an uproar over communal clashes in some parts of the country. The House mourned the deaths of former members Harkishan Singh Surjeet and KK Birla among others. The House also condoled deaths of 157 people in bomb blasts in various parts of the country and the loss of 289 lives in stampedes in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan and deaths in Bihar floods.



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