Antulay remarks disrupt Lok Sabha again (Second Lead)

December 22nd, 2008 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Somnath ChatterjeeNew Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) The Lok Sabha was repeatedly disrupted Monday as the furore following Minority Affairs Minister A.R. Antulay’s remarks questioning the death of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare during the Mumbai terror strike continued to snowball.Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had to adjourn the house thrice when MPs of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised slogans against Antulay and repeatedly approached the podium.

After two adjournments, the house reconvened at 2 p.m. only to be adjourned again after 10 minutes. However, it hurriedly passed two bills by voice vote.

The house was first adjourned after zero hour when the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) members raised slogans against Antulay and approached the speaker’s podium. The disruptions continued when the house reconvened at 1 p.m. with MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led NDA asking for Antulay’s removal.

Amid the din, the Life Insurance Corporation Act 1956 amendment bill was introduced in the house.

The Left parties sought a vote on the bill among the members present in the house. While the tumult continued, the voting was carried out — while NDA MPs did not cast their vote, 106 members voted in favour of tabling the bill in the house; 39 members were against it.

When the NDA members continued shouting, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee adjourned the house — just a few minutes after it had been reconvened.

Antulay watched the proceedings from the second row of the treasury benches. Later, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar asked Antulay to sit with him in the first row.

Antulay had hinted that Karkare’s death could be linked to the Sep 29 Malegaon bombing he was investigating and in which members of Hindu radical groups are the main suspects.

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