BJP targets Chidambaram in parliament (Roundup)

December 20th, 2011 - 6:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday targeted Home Minister P. Chidambaram in both houses of parliament, serving a breach of privilege notice in the Lok Sabha and forcing adjournment of the Rajya Sabha over their demand for action against the minister for allegedly helping a Delhi-based hotelier in getting police complaints against him withdrawn.

The Rajya Sabha, which was adjourned in the pre-lunch session on the issue, later saw two more adjournments before the sitting was called off for the day.

BJP member Chandan Mitra tried to raise the issue at Zero Hour and was joined by other party members.

Deputy Chairman Rahman Khan urged BJP members to take their seats, but they persisted with their demand that the prime minister should come to the house and state what action he proposed to take on the allegations against the home minister.

As the BJP members did not relent, the house was adjourned till 2 p.m.

The protest by BJP members continued, forcing the chair to adjourn the house again till 2.30 p.m., then till 3 p.m., and finally for the day.

The BJP had sought to raise the issue when the house began its sitting in the morning and was supported by the AIADMK.

BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu told mediapersons later that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should explain what action he proposes to take in “this clear case of conflict of interest”.

“It is not a personal issue but that of misuse of position. The prime minister should take action. We demand that prime minister should come in the house and give clarification about what action had been taken in the conflict of interest case of home minister,” Naidu said.

In the Lok Sabha, the BJP members heckled Chidambaram to prevent him from speaking as part of their decision to boycott the former finance minister in parliament for his alleged complicity in the 2G spectrum allotment case.

Some BJP MPs rose from their seats and booed Chidambaram when he began replying to a question by Congress’ Meenakshi Natarajan on human trafficking.

There were noisy protests and slogans whenever the home minister stood up to answer questions on issues like human trafficking, National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) and the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

Though barely audible, the home minister appeared unfazed and continued with his reply.

The BJP has also submitted a privilege motion notice against the home minister for speaking on the “conflict of interest” allegations against him outside the house when parliament is in session.

The BJP’s Yashwant Sinha submitted the notice to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar after a meeting of the parliamentary party chaired by senior leader L.K. Advani.

Sinha reminded the speaker of the notice after Question Hour was over and wanted to speak on it. Meira Kumar disallowed him, saying she had received the notice and it was under her consideration.

Another party leader, S.S. Ahluwalia, in the Rajya Sabha said the notice related to the “disrespect” shown by the home minister by making a statement outside of the house when parliament was in session.

Chidambaram has strongly rejected the BJP’s allegation that he had favoured the hotelier, his former client S.P. Gupta, in getting withdrawn three first information reports filed against him, and dismissed suggestions that there was any conflict of interest involved in it.

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