Left, NDA MPs protest outside parliament

February 27th, 2008 - 12:56 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) There were two sets of protests outside parliament house Wednesday with MPs from Orissa demonstrating against the railway budget and Left parliamentarians alleging that there was discrimination in food grain quotas to Kerala. MPs from Orissa’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged an angry protest in front of the Gandhi statue, accusing Railway Minister Lalu Prasad of doling out “lollipops” to the state in his budget Tuesday.

The MPs said the railways division that covers much of Orissa provides 35 percent of the ministry’s national revenue, but there was not a single new project for the region in the budget. They have decided to continue their protest inside the house too.

The Left MPs - presenting a united front unlike Tuesday when those from West Bengal voiced their protest against the rail budget but those from Kerala expressed satisfaction - staged a sit-in at the main gate of parliament.

Led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), they alleged that the central government was playing politics with food allocation to Kerala.

The group of vociferous parliamentarians, including CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat, shouted slogans like “Don’t play politics with rice” and “Stop discrimination against Kerala”.

They demanded immediate restoration of food grain quota to the state, governed by the Left. Kerala’s food grain quota was cut down last year.

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