BJP targets Bansal on shop allotment issue

BJP targets Bansal on shop allotment issue

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday disrupted proceedings in Parliament demanding resignation of parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in an alleged shop allotment scam in Chandigarh, prompting him to dare the opposition to hold any kind of inquiry while he was ready for even a CBI probe.

An ugly war of words was witnessed in the Lok Sabha with the leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj targeting Bansal, who hit back at her for attempting to “vilify" him by resorting to “baseless" allegations and “cheap gimmicks".

The Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice and the Rajya Sabha twice till 3 pm as BJP members raised the issue as soon as the two Houses met for the day.

As BJP members repeatedly raised the issue and even stormed the well of the Lok Sabha, a generally-sober Bansal turned combative and accused the opposition party of “murdering democracy" and destabilizing the nation.

“Make your own inquiry, have your own members in that committee or order a CBI probe. In fact, I too would want a CBI probe to get my name cleared," Bansal said challenging the Opposition party.

“Even if there is a grain of truth in the charges against me, I will never look back towards Parliament", he said, while dismissing the allegations as a “joke" by those who are “unnerved" because of the coming Municipal Corporation elections in Chandigarh November.

Alleging that the campaign against him was “politically motivated", he said that BJP member from Amritsar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, wanted to shift to Chandigarh in the next Lok Sabha polls.

“Sushmaji, you can also come to Chandigarh, then I will show", he said virtually challenging the BJP leader.

Swaraj said a report on the allotment of small shops or booths in Chandigarh had highlighted “glaring irregularities" in the process. She demanded that the CBI should probe the matter.

Refusing to be on the backfoot, Bansal dismissed the inquiry held by the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), contending that it was not a magisterial probe or one by a commission of inquiry against him.

“It was only the internal work of an officer ... who may have overstepped his responsibility," he said.

Later, Bansal told reporters that Swaraj had “misused" her position as Leader of the Opposition and if anyone had levelled such charges outside Parliament, that person would have “faced music".

In the Rajya Sabha, BJP members S. S. Ahluwalia and Rajiv Pratap Rudy tried to raise the issue during Zero Hour.

Deputy chairman K. Rahman Khan, who was in the Chair, said the Rajya Sabha Chairman had not admitted the petition of the BJP member to raise the issue.

But the BJP members were adamant and trooped into the Well creating rumpus.