Thackeray, Tamil issues lead to Lok Sabha adjournments (Lead)

October 21st, 2008 - 4:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Somnath ChatterjeeNew Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) The Lok Sabha Tuesday saw repeated adjournments before lunch on various issues including the attack on north Indians by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), the issue of Tamils caught in the military conflict in Sri Lanka and the house’s alleged inability to protect its members’ privileges. After the Lok Sabha re-assembled at 12 noon, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee was forced to adjourn the house again till 2 p.m. after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member Brajesh Pathak alleged that he had been threatened by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official on instructions by the government before the July 22 trust vote.

Pathak demanded a probe into his allegation, which the speaker refused to entertain. The BSP leader then wanted the matter to be forwarded to the privilege committee of parliament. Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Mohammed Salim supported the BSP MP on the issue. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also alleged that the chair had failed to protect the privileges of its members.

Soon after, the BJP took up the issue of MP Virendra Kumar Khatik being beaten up by Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel in Madhya Pradesh, once again stressing that the house had failed to protect his privileges.

Somnath Chatterjee refuted their claim and said that “serious allegations were being levelled against the house” and that the BJP leaders should be “truthful in the house”.

The speaker said he had inquired about the MP’s health and that steps had been taken to protect his privileges.

Basudev Acharya of the CPI-M, meanwhile, tried to raise the issue of the anti-Christian violence in Orissa, but could not do so due to the din in the house.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram was then invited for a discussion and voting on the Supplementary Demand For Grants (General) for 2008-09, but he too could not speak because of the uproar. The speaker then adjourned the house till 2 p.m.

The Lok Sabha was earlier adjourned following chaos in the house as soon as it assembled. While Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MPs shouted slogans to protest the attacks in Maharashtra by activists of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on north Indian job aspirants at railway recruitment exam centres, DMK MPs wanted to raise the issue of the protection of Tamil civilians affected in the military conflict between the Tamil Tiger rebels and the Sri Lankan government.

MPs from Kerala protested against the alleged negligence of the state by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

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