Rajya Sabha adjourned for day over Antulay, insurance bill (Fourth Lead)December 22nd, 2008 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha was finally adjourned for the day a little after 3 p.m., as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MPs disrupted proceedings throughout over the remarks of Minority Affairs Minister A.R. Antulay on the death of Maharashtra police officer Hemant Karkare during the Mumbai terror attacks and the insurance bill, respectively. As the upper house of parliament convened at three after its fourth adjournment of the day, the opposition MPs again created a furore on the Antulay issue, leading to Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan, who was presiding over the proceedings, adjourning the house for the day.
The Rajya Sabha had been adjourned on this issue twice in the morning and again when it met post-lunch while an adjournment had been forced at noon following a scuffle between ruling and opposition MPs over the insurance bill.
Despite assurances from External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee that the government will make a statement on the Antulay issue before the house adjourns Tuesday, the furious opposition members did not allow the proceedings to continue unhindered.
However, amidst the din, the bill to set up the South Asian University in India, the Appropriations Bill and a bill amending the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act were passed by voice vote.
Antulay had hinted that the death of Karkare, who headed the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), could be linked to the Sep 29 Malegaon bombing he was probing and in which Hindu radicals are the main suspects.