Lok Sabha adjourned for the day after four interruptions (Second Lead)

October 22nd, 2008 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Somnath ChatterjeeNew Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day Wednesday after four interruptions on the attacks on north Indians in Mumbai and what the Left parties perceived as the “neglect” of Kerala in the supply of foodgrain.The trouble began when the house assembled at 11 a.m. when, ignoring Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s appeals to maintain calm, Left leaders like P. Karunakaran of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Pannian Ravindran of the Communist Party of India (CPI) rushed towards the well of the house to protest against the reduction of Kerala’s foodgrains quota under the public distribution system.

They were joined by LJP and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MPs demanding strong action against Mahaarashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for inciting violence against north Indians in Mumbai.

They also said the central government should take strong action against the Maharashtra government for failing to protect north Indian students on Sunday, when members of the MNS attacked non Maharashtrian students appearing for the railway board examination in Mumbai. Thackeray was arrested Tuesday.

CPI-M leader from Kerala A.P. Abdullakutty raised a protest placard in the house, prompting the speaker to ask him to leave the house and suspend him for the day.

The trouble started soon after the house congratulated G. Madhavan Nair, chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), for the successful launch of Chandrayaan, India’s first mission to the moon.

The house also commended the Indian cricket team for defeating Australia in the Mohali Test.

After that, the disruptions began. An exasperated speaker said: “The country is proud of its sportsmen and scientists but ashamed of its parliamentarians.”

He also asked if the parliamentarians wished to be considered as the most unruly people of the country.

Unable to restore order, Chatterjee adjourned the house till 2 p.m.

When the Lok Sabha re-assembled after lunch, the Left MPs continued their commotion, demanding adequate foodgrains quota and electricity supply for Kerala.

The Left MPs also demanded that Abdullakutty’s suspension be withdrawn.

Deputy Speaker Charnjit Singh Atwal attempted to carry on with the proceedings even as the disruptions continued and asked External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to make a statement on the Sri Lanka issue.

Instead, Mukherjee chose to first slam the Left for its unruly attitude.

On Sri Lanka, Mukherjee said India was concerned about the growing number of internally displaced people there and the plight of civilians caught in the operations of the Sri Lankan Army against the Tamil Tiger rebels.

About 250,000 civilians have been displaced. UN aid workers were asked to leave the areas in the north due to what the government says “security concerns”.

Mukherjee is scheduled to travel to Colombo at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart to discuss the situation in the island’s war-torn north.

After Mukherjee tabled his statement, Atwal adjourned the house till 2.28 p.m. and called the leaders of all political parties for a meeting to discuss the standstill in the house.

The Left did not budge from its protests when the house assembled for the third time, but Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel managed to table a bill to provide for the establishment of an airport economic regulatory authority.

With the Left and the BJP demanding a vote on the bill, Chatwal vainly tried to carry on with the proceedings but ultimately adjourned the house till 3.15 p.m.

When the house reconvened for the fourth time, the bill presented by Patel was passed without a vote and Chatwal then adjourned the session for the day as the Left and the BJP continued with their protests.

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