New Delhi(PTI): Parliament could not transact any business for the third day in a row as deadlock prevailed between the Opposition and the ruling side over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues, which aggravated on Thursday after BJP raised objection to certain comments by Robert Vadra.
While the Opposition stuck to its demand for the resignation of Union Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the government rejected it and countered in the Lok Sabha by raking up a Facebook post of Vadra and seeking action against him for “demeaning” MPs.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day just after papers were tabled at noon, while the Rajya Sabha was adjourned at about 2.10 PM after two adjournments earlier.
The Lok Sabha failed to transact any business for the second straight day as confrontation between ruling and opposition sides intensified with BJP hitting back at Congress by forcefully raising the Vadra issue and seeking action against Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law for breach of privilege.
Rajya Sabha saw heated exchanges between the opposition and treasury benches, primarily over the modalities for a discussion on the Lalit Modi controversy, with members of the Congress, Left and other parties insisting “no resignation, no discussion.”
The Upper House could not transact any business as it witnessed two adjournments – one till noon and the other till 2 PM. Similar scenes prevailed when it reassembled, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn it for the day.
All hell broke loose in the Lower House when it met after the first adjournment at noon and BJP member Prahlad Joshi referred to Vadra’s Facebook post.
The Lok Sabha, which was already paralysed since Wednesday due to opposition demands for resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over the Lalit Modi controversy and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the Vyapam scam, then plunged into a turmoil.
Joshi claimed Vadra had “demeaned” MPs and wanted the issue to be referred to the Privileges Committee of Parliament and he be brought before the House.
His remarks angered Sonia Gandhi who rose to protest strongly, leading her party members to intensify their slogan-shouting against the government. Joshi’s remarks added fuel to the fire as the Congress members, who had already stormed the Well, shouted “no resignation, no discussion”.
Amid the din, Leader of Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge went to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to say that Joshi’s remarks should be immediately expunged as Vadra is not a member of the House.
Vadra, in the Facebook post, had taken a dig at the NDA government without naming it before the Monsoon session began on July 21. “Parliament begins and so do their petty diversionary political tactics… People of India are not fooled. Regret to see India led by such so-called leaders!!,” Vadra had said in his post.
Acrimonious debate and, at times, heated exchanges between BJP and the opposition members were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha, primarily on procedural matters to discuss the Lalit Modi controversy.
While opposition led by Congress pressed for suspension of business to discuss the issue and seek the resignation of Swaraj for allegedly helping the controversial former IPL head Lalit Modi, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley rebutted it saying the notice given by Anand Sharma (Cong) only sought a discussion without any condition or caveat like resignation of any minister.
The Upper House was adjourned for the day as the ruckus continued soon after it reassembled at 2 PM after two earlier adjournments.
Input with PTI