Rajya Sabha stalled again; Cong insists on resignations

RSTV Bureau

Anand-Sharma-CongRajya Sabha proceedings were stalled for the second straight day as the Opposition forced four adjournments amid uproar over Lalit Modi controversy and the Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh.

A united Opposition demanded the resignations of BJP ministers whose names have cropped up in these two scams. They also insisted on a reply from the Prime Minister.

Congress’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma gave a notice for suspension of business demanding Prime Minister’s response on the corruption allegations and demanded fixing of accountability.

JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav backed Sharma and demanded the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Yadav said if the accused ministers resigned, they will emerge stronger after the probe clears their names. To emphasize his point, Yadav cited the resignations tendered by him and senior BJP leader LK Advani after their names cropped up in the Jain Hawala case in 1990s, till their names were cleared.

The government on the other hand refused to blink. It ruled out resignation of any minister and challenged the Opposition for a debate.

Leader of the House, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the Opposition of resorting to politics of slogan-shouting. Jaitley ‘dared’ the Opposition to have a debate on the issue.

“There has been enough of politics of slogan-shouting. You start with the debate. The House will now allow slogan-shouting. If you have any logic, then you speak,” said Jaitley.

BJP also reminded the House of the corruption charges against Congress leaders during its tenure. The party shielded its ministers and defended their position by stating that state issues cannot be discussed in Parliament.

An agitated Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “There will be no resignations.” This further angered the Opposition leaders.

Meanwhile Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati claimed that it was imperative for the Centre to intervene in the Vyapam scam demanding an impartial CBI probe and resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury also claimed that Vyapam fiasco had transcended the boundaries of the state.

The Upper House saw repeated adjournments in the pre-lunch session as the Opposition led by the Congress continued the uproar. The House was adjourned four times before being finally adjourned for the day.