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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

UNDECLARED EMERGENCY: Anna arrest echoes in Parliament, both Houses adjourned!

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Aarti Dhar & Sandeep Dikshit, The Hindu / NEW DELHI, August 16, 2011.

A TV of BJP members disrupting the proceedings of the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday.
A TV grab of BJP members disrupting the proceedings of the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday - The Hindu.

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s arrest echoed in Parliament on Tuesday with the entire Opposition demanding suspension of the Question Hour to discuss the issue and accusing the government of adopting an “undemocratic approach”. Both Houses witnessed repeated adjournments before being adjourned for the day without transacting any business.
In the Lok Sabha, the government said it was willing for a discussion after the Question Hour while in the Rajya Sabha, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) members prevented the Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley from speaking despite permission by the Chair.
When the Lok Sabha met for the day, Speaker Meira Kumar disallowed the suspension of Question Hour notices, given by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, among others on detention of Anna Hazare and on the larger issue of corruption.
Ms. Kumar said there was no provision for suspension of Question Hour in the Lok Sabha but asked the members making this demand to “briefly touch upon the subject”. However, when Ms. Swaraj rose to speak, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal intervened and said his government was prepared for a discussion at noon when the Union Home Minister would also reply.
In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley alleged that the government was indulging in the “murder of democracy” while senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said in the Lok Sabha that “there is Emergency outside Parliament, there is Emergency inside Parliament”.
Ms. Swaraj alleged that Mr. Bansal was defying the Speaker by not allowing her to speak. “The undemocratic attitude adopted by the government outside the House is being adopted inside as well,’’ she said.
In the din, a short duration discussion on Sri Lanka could not take place even as the Speaker called DMK leader T.R. Baalu to initiate it. However, the entire Opposition, including the National Democratic Alliance parties, Left parties, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, were on their toes with some of them rushing to the Well that resulted in adjournment for the day.

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