BJP forces day-long adjournment on Ansari decision

April 24th, 2008 - 9:57 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Rajya Sabha chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari’s move to discipline All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam (AIADMK) member V. Maitreyan Thursday provoked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to force an adjournment of the upper house for the entire post-lunch session. In the process it also prevented the scheduled discussion on “working of the human resources development ministry.”

Ansari had created history of sorts earlier during Question Hour when he made Maitreyan “withdraw” from the house for persistent defiance of the chair and disrupting its proceedings.

Maitreyan had raised on Wednesday the issue of Shipping and Transport Minister T.R. Baalu using his position to seek gas from a company run by his family members and Baalu had responded to the allegations.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who attends the Question Hour proceedings of the Rajya Sabha every Thursday, was present when the trouble began at 11 a.m. at start of session today.

In Baalu’s presence, Maitreyan said: “Since the prime minister is in the house he should state what he has to say about the irregularity committed by his minister.”

Ansari reminded Maitreyan that he had been allowed to raise the issue earlier and got a reply from the minister and then said: “Please resume your seat and allow the Question Hour to proceed.”

Baalu’s DMK party colleagues and others on the treasury benches started protesting against Maitreyan’s refusal to heed to the chairman’s request.

Ansari again requested him to resume his seat. When Maitreyan did not listen, Ansari repeated his assertion that Question Hour should be allowed to proceed.

Maitreyan remained unperturbed and continued with his tirade, much of which was inaudible since nothing was going on record.

Ansari then declared : “I am invoking Rule 255 (of the Rajya Sabha rules) and asking the member to withdraw from the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).”

According to Rajya Sabha officials, Rule 255 states that the concerned member has to withdraw from the house the moment the chair invokes the rule. The member has to stay away from the proceedings of the house for that day.

All through this BJP members were absent demonstrating outside parliament. They arrived later just before Question Hour ends, stalling Question Hour again over their issue of price rise and forced an adjournment till lunch time.

After lunch break the House met to discuss “the working of the human resource development ministry.”

But Swaraj and other BJP members were on their feet demanding adjournment of the House to discuss the ruling of the Chairman.

This caused loud protests from the treasury benches led by Congress leader Jayanti Natrajan and minister of state V Narayan Swamy.

P.J.Kurien presiding over the proceedings repeatedly pleaded with Swaraj, “You tell me how can I question the Chairman’s ruling?”

To which Sushma replied, “There are past precedents. You adjourn the House for 10-15 minutes, then the leaders can go into the chairman’s chamber and resolve this issue.” This exchange carried on for nearly half an hour with the BJP refusing to yield forcing the chair to adjourn the House for the day.

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