No business transacted
Din over caste quota
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 5
Both Houses were adjourned for the day without any business being transacted except a statement Defence Minister AK Antony made in the Upper House on the Agusta Westland VVIP chopper deal.
The Rajya Sabha saw the ruling Congress cornered by the BSP, SP and JDU over its veteran leader Janardan Dwivedi’s remarks that poverty, and not caste, should determine quotas.
In the Lok Sabha, too, the Congress was in for an embarrassment when six of its Seemandhra MPs, led by Sabbam Hari, gave no-trust notices against the government. TDP’s Konkalla Narayana Rao also gave a similar notice.
Soon as LS commenced, anti-Telangana members cutting across party lines rushed into the well seeking a united Andhra Pradesh on a day when Kiran Reddy, Chief Minister of Congress-led government in Andhra Pradesh, began his protest at Jantar Mantar against the bifurcation of the state. The Akali Dal-BJP combine also contributed to the din by protesting against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s recent remarks pertaining to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Amid ruckus, the Speaker had to adjourn Question Hour.The events unfolding were significant as they came on the eve of the Cabinet meeting to approve the draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill to form Telangana. The Bill was cleared by a Group of Ministers yesterday.
Though the Congress reiterated its commitment to Telangana, Finance Minister P Chidambaram painted a more realistic picture when he said, “I doubt if Parliament will pass any Bill in this Session.”
The Rajya Sabha witnessed noisy scenes over Congress leader Dwivedi’s remarks that reservations should be based on economic criteria and poverty rather than caste.
Leaders of regional parties led by Mayawati demanded a clarification from the government on its stand on reservations. BJP’s Ravishankar Prasad also joined them while the government promised to make a statement on the issue tomorrow.
Before adjournment, the Upper House also witnessed ruckus over Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s attempts to introduce the reworked Communal Violence Bill after withdrawing the 2005 version. The BJP, AIADMK, SP and CPM vehemently opposed the Bill terming it anti-federal.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley articulated the opposition by questioning government’s legislative competence to introduce a Bill on law and order - strictly a state subject. Though Law Minister Kapil Sibal tried hard to reason with Jaitley on the issue of competence, PJ Kurien, in the chair at the time, adjourned proceedings for the day in deference to “mood of the House”, which was against the controversial Bill’s introduction.
Noise & no-trust notices
Face-off over communal violence Bill
The Central Government has absolutely no jurisdiction in bringing such a Bill... This Bill is entirely beyond the legislative competence of
Such a Bill was necessary for central intervention in the event of "state- sponsored communal activity...it is like what happened in