New Delhi: The two Houses of Parliament continued to witness protests from Congress members over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allegations against his predecessor Manmohan Singh with the court verdict in the 2G spectrum case also finding a reflection in the proceedings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The Upper House was adjourned for the day amidst uproar by Congress MPs on Modi’s insinuations against Singh during campaign for the Gujarat polls and the BJP’s “smear campaign” against the UPA over the 2G spectrum case.
In the Lok Sabha, Congress members staged a walk out over Modi’s remarks but later took part in the discussion on the Supplementary Demand for Grants entailing a gross additional expenditure of Rs 66,113 crore.
Rajya Sabha faced disruptions before it was adjourned for the day.
The final adjournment came minutes after the House met at 2 p.m and the Congress members continued with their noisy protests seeking apology from Modi over his remarks against Manmohan Singh and over the BJP’s allegations about the 2G spectrum case.
A Delhi court on Thursday acquitted all the accused including DMK leaders — former Telecom Minister A. Raja and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi — in the alleged 2G spectrum scam in which the then CAG had estimated a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal targeted the then Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai without taking his name and asked if he can be called to the House for clarifications.
“CAG is a constitutional body. I want to ask if the CAG before placing its report in Parliament can make it public through the press? Can anybody be held guilty on the basis of CAG report? Can an inquiry be set up on the basis of CAG report? Usually CAG’s 99.9 per cent of objections are cleared in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Sir, if a CAG tries to defame a government, can we call him in the House or not?” Agarwal asked.
Cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who made a rare appearance in the Upper House, was to participate in a short duration discussion on the future of sports in the country.
Tendulkar, a nominated member, rose to give his maiden speech in Parliament but could not speak amid the ruckus. Naidu urged the Congress members to allow Tendulkar to speak.
“An honorable member, who has been awarded Bharat Ratna, wants to speak on an important issue like sports. Let him speak. All focus should be on Sachinji,” Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said.
But the Congress members continued with their sloganeering.
“This does not suit you… Nothing is going to happen… You don’t have sportsman spirit,” Naidu said before adjourning the House.
Earlier, when the House met for the day, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raked up Modi’s remarks and the 2G verdict.
“Till yesterday (Wednesday) we had been demanding the Prime Minister’s clarification on his remarks against Manmohan Singhji but today another incident took place and now we want clarification on both the issues,” Azad said.
“They should now prove on what basis they had alleged that there was a scandal of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Through false campaign an environment against UPA was created and was the reason we are here in the opposition benches and you are there in treasury benches,” he said.
In the Lok Sabha, Congress members again protested over Modi’s insinuations against Singh during the Gujarat Assembly campaign. As soon as the House met, Congress members trooped near Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s podium and urged her to allow party leader Mallikarjun Kharge to speak on the issue.
The Speaker went ahead with the Question Hour, even as Congress members raised slogans standing near her. Halfway through Question Hour, Mahajan said she would not allow the issue to be raised in the House.
Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia alleged the the voice of opposition was being muffled in the House by the government. The party also got support from CPI-M and RJD.
Congress members later staged a walkout.
Taking part in the debate on supplementary demands for grants, Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily targeted the then CAG Rai saying he should “resign from all the posts and tender an apology and return all the awards”.
The former Union Minister also demanded that the government should bring a resolution rejecting the CAG report. TMC member Saugata Roy said the former CAG should appear before the court and be investigated.