Lok Sabha stalled over food for Kerala, Thackeray

October 22nd, 2008 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Raj ThackerayNew Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) With Left MPs demanding adequate food grain quota and electricity supply for Kerala and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) asking for action against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, there was chaos in the Lok Sabha Wednesday. Unable to restore order, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee adjourned the house till 2 p.m.

Ignoring the speaker’s appeal to calm down, Left leaders like P. Karunakharan 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. They were joined by LJP and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MPs demanding strong action against Thackeray.

They also said the central government should take strong action against the Maharashtra government which failed to protect north Indian students — on Sunday, 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.

Detailing the Left stand, CPI-M MP P. Satidevi told IANS: “The state’s public distribution system (PDS) has been sabotaged because of the attitude of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. The Left parties will raise the issue again in the house.”

Before the session began, Left MPs had protested outside parliament and condemned the negligence of the central government towards the state.

During a sit-in protest on the same issue at Jantar Mantar on Oct 17, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan had put forward the state’s case. According to him, 113,420 tonnes of rice had been allocated every month for distribution to APL (above poverty line) card holders up to March 2007. This was reduced to 21,334 tonnes from April 2007 to 17,056 tonnes in April 2008 and has completely stopped since September this year.

Similarly, share of electricity from the central pool had also been reduced considerably.

“Putting the state into a severe power crisis, the share of electricity from the central pool has gone down to 667 MW in August this year. The state is to get 1,188 MW electricity per month from the central pool,” he said.

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