Parliament paralysed for second day over 2-G scam

Parliament paralysed for second day over 2-G scam

New Delhi: Parliament was rocked for the second day on Thursday with the Opposition demanding ouster of telecom minister A Raja and the Congress hitting back at the Sangh Parivar over anti-Sonia Gandhi remarks by former RSS chief K S Sudarshan.

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha could not transact any business in the din as members from both sides stormed the well.

The first week of the winter session became virtually a washout, except for the first day when the Lok Sabha transacted some business.

Now Parliament will meet on Monday, as tomorrow has been declared holiday for the MPs for the Chhath festival, widely celebrated in Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh.

No sooner the Lok Sabha met in the morning and speaker Meira Kumar took her seat, BJP members rushed to the well raising slogans against Raja who is in the eye of a storm following a CAG report which is believed to have passed strictures against allocation of 2G spectrum.

This policy, approved by Raja, caused a loss of about Rs1.76 lakh crore, the CAG report is understood to have pointed out.

The BJP members were joined by those from AIADMK and Shiv Sena. CPI(M) members were seen raising slogans from their seats.

They were countered by Congress members, some of whom trooped to the well shouting slogans against the RSS.

Parliamentary affairs minister P K Bansal was seen trying to make a point citing anti-Gandhi reports quoted to Sudarshan in a Hindi newspaper.

The din prompted the speaker to adjourn the House till 1200 hours.

Similar scenes were witnessed when the House re-assembled at noon leading to its adjournment till Monday. Even ministers, including Jitin Prasada and Arun Yadav were seen raising slogans against RSS.

It was ditto in the Rajya Sabha, where Congress members, including Shantaram Naik, rushed to the well at the start of the day. They too carried copies of the newspaper.

Opposition BJP and AIADMK members also trooped into the well raising slogans demanding dismissal of Raja on being “indicted" by CAG over his role in 2G spectrum allocation.

The House was adjourned till 1200 hours. But similar scenes were witnessed when the House met at noon. Unrelenting Congress and opposition members again rushed into the well trying to press their points.

Deputy chairman K Rehman Khan then adjourn the House till Monday.

While Parliament was paralysed for the second consecutive day over alleged corruption in 2-G allocation and charges against Raja, home minister P Chidambaram and parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Bansal dismissed demands for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the allegations and said any action could take place after Parliament discusses the CAG report.

“The CAG has already given its report. The PAC, which is a mini JPC, will go into the issue and report to Parliament. It will again be debated. Why there is a demand for JPC? It is un-understandable," Chidambaram told reporters outside Parliament House.

Echoing similar views, Bansal said “Corruption is a serious issue...CAG (report) is yet to be finalised. Now the matter would rest with the Public Accounts Committee. The PAC has to look into it."

He told reporters that after the PAC presents its report to Parliament, “it is the right of Parliament to go for a structured discussion. That is what Parliament is meant for."

He said while Raja has been “indited by one organisation (CAG), that is not the end of the matter...the matter is before the Supreme Court...we should not make a final decision on anything only after listening to one point and then inflate the issue.

“We then consider it to be our right to take a decision. We should reach to the bottom of the matter."

The Union minister said anybody found guilty should be punished.

Meanwhile, DMK strongly stood behind Raja saying there was no reason for his removal from the Union Cabinet.

“Why should he (Raja) resign," asked DMK spokesperson and Lok Sabha MP T K S Elangovan and added that a CBI probe into the spectrum scam is on and everyone should wait for it to end.

“Whatever the minister did was based on the norms set by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Let the CBI inquiry into the issue end first," he said.

“No way," asserted a senior DMK leader when asked whether Raja will go in wake of allegations against him