Don’t run Lok Sabha amid bedlam, upset Advani says

Don’t run Lok Sabha amid bedlam, upset Advani says

New Delhi: Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani on Wednesday described the unending disruption of the Lok Sabha as “disgraceful” and demanded to know who was running the house.

As the house was adjourned shortly before 1 p.m., the normally quiet Advani called Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and asked who exactly was in charge in the house.

As other BJP members watched in silence, Advani was overheard saying that neither Speaker Sumitra Mahajan nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister appeared to be on top of the situation.

Advani’s remarks came as the Speaker allowed half of the Question Hour and the Zero Hour to continue on Wednesday although opposition members kept raising anti government slogans.

The opposition has been demanding a debate on demonetisation with voting.

“Neither the Speaker nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister is running the house,” said Advani, a former Deputy Prime Minister and one of the most respected parliamentarians in the country.

“I am going to tell the Speaker that she is not running the house… Both the opposition and the government are unable to run the house,” he said even as Ananth Kumar was seen desperately trying to pacify him.

Ananth Kumar was then seen gesturing towards the media gallery, after which Advani said: “I will say it publicly.”

He asked till what time the Lok Sabha had been adjourned. When he was told till 2 p.m., the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader quipped: “Why not sine die?”

He said the house should not run amid din and slogan-shouting.

Ananth Kumar later said the veteran leader was upset over the opposition’s conduct.

“He was upset over opposition’s conduct, so he said that,” said Kumar.

Both Kumar and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs S.S. Ahluwalia escorted Advani to his car.

Ananth Kumar also met the Speaker in her chamber later.

The Lok Sabha has been witnessing noisy disruptions since the second day of the winter session that started on November 16.

On the first day, it was adjourned after obituary reference to Renuka Sinha, an MP from Cooch Behar.

On Tuesday, it was again adjourned after paying tributes to the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Apart from these two days, the house has witnessed protests every day, with the opposition pressing for a debate on demonetisation under rules that entail voting.

The government is ready for a debate but does not want voting.