Parliament disrupted over Chidambaram’s role in telecom deal (Third Lead)May 8th, 2012 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) Both houses of parliament were disrupted Tuesday as the opposition protested the alleged role of Home Minister P. Chidambaram in helping his son get financial benefits from a telecom deal when he was finance minister in 2006. The government termed the allegation baseless.
The Lok Sabha saw noisy disruptions with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking a reply from the government on the issue and was adjourned thrice.
Some BJP MPs staged protests near Speaker Meira Kumar’s podium and disrupted the crucial question hour.
The speaker first tried to restore peace in the house asking protesting MPs to go back to their seats but when they intensified their protest, Meira Kumar adjourned the house till noon.
Pandemonium returned when the house resumed at 12 noon. Amid noisy protests, the speaker allowed some business documents to be laid down in the house before adjourning the house till 1 p.m.
When the house reconvened, it was adjourned till 2 p.m. as opposition members continued with their protest against Chidambaram and Congress MPs demanded action against the Madhya Pradesh government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan over alleged corruption.
Opposition MPs cited Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy’s allegations that Chidambaram had delayed permission for the sale of Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis in 2006 when he was finance minister so that his son, Karthi, was financially benefited.
“The BJP is going to raise the matter very seriously in both the houses. The government is not coming with true facts pertaining to the deliberate delays in the Aircel-Maxis deal because of the interest of then finance minister. We want a reply from the government in parliament,” said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.
He said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is being misused and wants to put the matter on the backburner.
The upper house saw two adjournments, first for 10 minutes and then till 12 noon.
The government denied the charge and said it had clarified the issue April 28 and wanted to reiterate it.
Reacting to a news report Tuesday which claimed that the April 28 statement was far from truth, the government said subsequently another application was received for downstream investment by M/s. Global Communications Services Holdings Ltd.
The government statement gave the relevant dates - Sep 1, 2006 as application for investment, Oct 3 for meeting of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) when it recommended the proposal, Oct 6 when the Minutes of FIPB were drawn up and moved by Deputy Secretary, Oct 12 when the finance minister approved the minutes and Oct 20 when the formal letter of approval was issued.
“It will be clear from the above that the proposal was processed in the normal course and approval was granted in the normal course without any delay,” said the statement adding, “it is unfortunate that baseless allegations should continue to be made without verifying the facts.”
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Tags: adjourning, aircel, alleged corruption, backburner, bharatiya janata party, business documents, central bureau of investigation, congress mps, finance minister, home minister, houses of parliament, Lok Sabha, madhya pradesh government, meira kumar, noisy protests, opposition members, opposition mps, party chief, swamy, telecom deal