M A I N   N E W S

Monsoon session sees rain of barbs over 2G
PM appeals for smooth Parliament session; BJP resolves to nail him on Spectrum scam
Ashok Tuteja & Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 1
The opposition parties raised a storm in the Rajya Sabha today over the 2G Spectrum scam on the opening day of the monsoon session of Parliament even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to members to allow both Houses to function smoothly. It was quite clear from the brief proceedings today that the month-long session would be a stormy one.

While the Lok Sabha was adjourned till tomorrow after obituary references, the Rajya Sabha witnessed uproarious scenes with the Opposition, led by the BJP, raising the issues of corruption and inflation.

Soon after the swearing-in of new members in the Upper House and some obituary references, BJP MPs rose from their seats, demanding a discussion on the statements by former telecom minister A Raja, who is now in jail. Raja, the main accused in the 2G scam, has dragged the Prime Minister and Home Minister P Chidambaram into the Spectrum scam. Government managers have ruled out a discussion on the issue, saying the matter is in court.

Amid the din, BJP member Rudra Narayan Pany demanded the Prime Minister’s resignation. Some AIADMK members, flashing copies of newspapers, also joined their BJP colleagues in highlighting the issue.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members, meanwhile, protested against the draft of a new land acquisition Bill released by the government last week to put in place a legal framework to acquire land from farmers. Some members even trooped into the well of the House.

With his repeated appeals to the members to resume their seats and let the House function smoothly falling on deaf ears, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the house for 15 minutes. But the situation was somewhat same when the House reassembled, forcing the Chair to adjourn the House till tomorrow.

The Opposition stuck to its demand for discussing corruption and price rise as per the rules that entail voting, and make Parliament recommendations binding on the government to tackle these issues.

The BJP, meanwhile, took umbrage to PM’s comments yesterday that the Opposition also has too may skeletons in its cupboard and resolved to nail him on the 2G issue during the debate in both Houses.

Visibly upset with Singh’s remarks, two Leaders of Opposition Sushma Swaraj amd Arun Jaitley jointly laid out their agenda to pin him down on what Jaitley described as the PM’s complete knowledge of what had transpired in the 2G scam.

Jaitley alleged that “the PM was aware of the minutest of details in the matter and will have to answer in Parliament.”

He contended that “the PM is faced with several questions because of the recent disclosures on the allocation of 2G spectrum.... He is not in a position to answer any of them. Instead of answering any questions, he is attacking the Opposition.”

Earlier, Swaraj disclosed that the BJP had decided to give notices for discussion on issues of price rise, Mumbai blasts and corruption in the Lok Sabha under Rule 184 demanding a division and the corresponding Rule 176 in the Upper House.





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