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UPCC chief’s arrest triggers uproar in Parliament

UPCC chief’s arrest triggers uproar in Parliament
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First Published: Thu, Jul 16 2009. 01 11 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Jul 16 2009. 01 11 PM IST
New Delhi: The issue of arrest of Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi over her alleged anti-Mayawati remarks on Thursday created uproar in Parliament leading to adjournment of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha for an hour.
While the Lok Sabha saw Congress members clashing with those of the BSP on the issue, in the Rajya Sabha SP and BSP members attacked Joshi over what they described as her “anti-women” remarks.
It was trouble from the word go in the Lok Sabha with Congress member Jagdambika Pal and some of his party colleagues seeking to raise the matter.
BSP members too were seen making attempts to defend the UP government move to arrest the Congress leader for her alleged inflammatory remarks at a rally in Moradabad. SP and BJP members to joined, leading to turmoil in the House.
Speaker Meira Kumar’s repeated appeals to raise the matter during Zero Hour went in vain following which she adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes.
As the House reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed leading to adjournment of the House till 12:00 noon.
In the Rajya Sabha, BSP and SP members were up on their feet seeking suspension of the Question Hour ignoring Chairman Hamid Ansari repeated calls to allow the proceedings to continue after he disallowed their request.
Members should be allowed to raise the issue after suspending the Question Hour, he demanded.
Ansari said the issue was “serious enough” to be discussed but the Question Hour could not be suspended and the members were free to raise it during Zero Hour.
However, unrelenting BSP and SP members continued to raise the issue and the Left parties too supported them
As the din continued, Ansari adjourned the house till 1200 hours.</p><p>This is the first time during the current session of Parliament that the House has been adjourned during Question Hour.
Congress Accuses Mayawati Government
Congress accused the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh of “sponsoring” the attack on its state president Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s house in Lucknow out of personal vendetta.
“All this has happened at the behest of UP chief minister....under the sponsorship of the state government. The FIR has the name of culprit Babloo Tiwari, a BSP MLA, who was spearheading the attack,” Congress leader Digvijay Singh told reporters in Delhi.
“The police was told what is going to happen. When the incident took place, all senior officials were at CM’s residence... Congress will fight the way in which Mayawati government is using law to suppress its political opponents,” Singh said adding the party will fight it “at whatever level we are made to”.
Party spokesperson Manish Tewari told the agency, “there is complete jungleraj in UP. The chief minister is taking her frustration out against the legal proceedings against her which are coming to a culmination now.”
Joshi was arrested on Wednesday in Ghaziabad district for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Chief Minister Mayawati.
Alleged BSP supporters had set a portion of Joshi’s house on fire besides damaging vehicles parked in the premises.
Tewari said, “ransacking the house of UPCC president is going to be the last nail in the coffin of the Mayawati government and it has stirred a hornet’s nest.”
Earlier there was a “brutal lathicharge in Amethi, where people were almost beaten to death for demanding something like electricity. And then this attack on Joshi’s house and her arrest. It’s an act of complete desperation,” he said.
Commenting on the case registered against Joshi, Tewari said, “the kind of lawlessness that persists in Uttar Pradesh, you can make out a case against anybody for anything. It just needs nothing at all.”
Singh, the AICC in-charge for UP, however said, “the comments of Rita Bahuguna Joshi were un-called for but the context should be considered in which they have been said. She herself has apologized” and wondered “which law permits Joshi’s house to be set ablaze.”
“We will fight the battle legally as far the case registered against her is concerned,” Singh said adding that the SC/ST Act has been unnecessarily been invoked.
Another party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, said, “this is at best an individual case. It cannot be said it is something to inflame communal passion or outraging the modesty of women. It is completely wrong on the state government’s behalf especially after Joshi stated that she regrets and apologized for her remarks”.
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First Published: Thu, Jul 16 2009. 01 11 PM IST