Lok Sabha TV aired visuals of the repeated disruptions and demonstrations in the Well of the Lower House for the first time in more than five years on Wednesday. The same type of ruckus was created by the BJP during UPA regime. Don’t think people forgot that, both the parties are anarchists. What can be done when people like this are sitting inside the parliament? During the UPA government and under Mr. Manmohan Singh’s leadership, Arun Jaitley and his party did the same disruption and disturbance and now they are getting the taste of their own medicine. This is the first time “Lok Sabha TV” “streamed live” the happening of the LS – only when the speaker requested it. The people of the country have the right to see and hear what is happening in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as well as in state assemblies. A day after some members tore papers and threw them from the Well of the House; barriers were erected on Wednesday in Lok Sabha on both sides of the Secretary General’s chair.
On the other hand, Sushma Swaraj was very aggressive and out of control. Instead of clearing her side and defending against allegations, she was attacking the Congress. She shouted back at the Congress saying it had helped Bofors accused Ottavio Quattrocchi and Bhopal gas leak accused Warren Anderson flee from India. Making a statement in Lok Sabha, she specifically responded to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s charge that she had got money to help Lalit Modi by telling him to ask his “mamma” as to “how much money had taken from Quattrocchi” and “why did ‘daddy’ (Rajiv Gandhi) get released the killer of 15,000 people (in Bhopal gas leak),” an apparent reference to Anderson. Swaraj, who has been battling demands for her resignation over alleged ‘quid pro quo’ in relation to Lalit Modi, said, “this is called quid pro quo… Rahul should ask (his mother), why they did the quid pro quo” with regard to Quattrocchi and Anderson. While she spoke amid slogan-shouting by Congress members, Sonia Gandhi was seen listening to the speech in rapt attention using headphone.
All hell broke loose when a BJP member made certain remark against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the context of black money when Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge was speaking on the Lalit Modi controversy. In an unusual move, she rushed into the Well and was followed by her party colleagues. Mr. Kharge insisted that nothing short of an apology was acceptable. As the uproar continued, Speaker adjourned the House for about an hour.
Swaraj also targeted former union minister P Chidambaram, saying he had failed to bring back Lalit Modi from United Kingdom as he did not try for his extradition as suggested by the host government and confined his requests to deportation. Swaraj said, there was no wrongdoing on her part saying that she was only helping Modi’s wife who is a cancer patient on humanitarian grounds. In a sign of thaw in the day, the government accepted the Opposition’s demand to discuss an adjournment motion on Swaraj’s alleged role in the Lalit Modi controversy. It was Swaraj, who requested the Speaker to accept a notice of adjournment given by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
As Opposition leader Kharge started to speak during the debate, Satish Kumar Goutam, the BJP MP from Aligarh, interrupted him. A furious Sonia Gandhi rushed down to the Well, raising fingers at the ruling party members. The Congress president asked what prompted the BJP parliamentarian to speak without permission. She was joined by other Congress lawmakers, including her son Rahul. The Trinamool and the Left too joined the protests. In the face of a united opposition, the Speaker adjourned the House till afternoon. Kharge kicked off the debate and held Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government responsible for the disruptions this monsoon session. He said if Parliament had taken up the Lalit Modi issue earlier, so much of time would not have been wasted. Kharge also demanded the PM’s presence in the House.
The principal opposition party has disrupted House business this session, demanding the resignation of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje for allegedly helping former IPL chief Lalit Modi get UK travel documents. The Congress also wants the ouster of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the multi-crore Vyapam scandal. Kharge questioned why wasn’t an appeal filed against Lalit Modi, who has been issued a blue corner notice. He also said that Swaraj’s families were lawyers in the Lalit Modi case and that is why he was protected. Kharge also attacked finance minister Arun Jaitley, saying he too never initiated an inquiry despite knowing about Lalit Modi’s economic offence.
In Rajya Sabha, where the government desperately wants the Goods and Services Tax bill to pass, the logjam over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues continued on the penultimate day of the monsoon session. The House faced several adjournments before the chair called it a day. A section of the opposition asked the government to begin a debate followed by voting over the contentious issues, but no breakthrough could be achieved.