Lok Sabha row over phone tapping, price rise

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the second time on Tuesday, till 2 pm, amid uproar from the Opposition benches. BJP members protested against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's refusal to set up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on phone tapping, and Samajwadi Party and RJD members protested on the price rise issue.

The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day.

The Lok Sabha reconvened after adjournment at noon, only to have slogan-shouting members gather in the Well as the government laid papers on the table of the House. The House was adjourned soon after.

In the morning, as proceedings began and Speaker Meira Kumar completed the obituary references, Opposition members were on their feet in protest against the government's stand on phone tapping and price rise.

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said she was surprised to see reports in newspapers quoting the Prime Minister as saying there would be no JPC to investigate the phone tapping issue.

"This is a disrespect of the House. The Prime Minister should give a statement in the House on the issue," she said.

She insisted this was a serious matter as phones of even cabinet ministers were tapped. BJP has also demanded Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into IPL scam and phone tapping.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal and his deputy V Narayanasamy accused Swaraj of making "baseless" allegations.

SP members Dharmendra Yadav and Shailendra Kumar showed placards which said "Bharat Bandh against the government which has failed to control prices has been successful". Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav led the protest.

RJD members, led by party chief Lalu Prasad and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, shouted slogans against the government.

They walked into the Well and shouted slogans like "Yeh sarkar nikkami hai. Jo sarkar nikkami hai, woh sarkar badalni hai" (this government is ineffective and has to be changed) and "Yeh to abhi angadai hai, aage abhi ladai hai" (This is just the beginning, the struggle lies ahead).

A general strike has been called today by 13 non-NDA and non-UPA parties.

After 10 minutes of uproar, the House was adjourned by the Speaker till 12 noon.

Rajya Sabha adjourned till tomorrow

Opposition BJP, SP and Left parties on Tuesday forced adjournment of the Rajya Sabha for the day without transacting any business over rise in prices of essential commodities and IPL controversy.

Soon after the House met, almost the entire Opposition was on its feet.

The SP, RJD and Left parties, which have given call for a nation-wide strike in protest against price rise, raised the issue of increase in cost of essential commodities, while BJP members were on their feet demanding a JPC to go into the IPL affairs.

Chairman Hamid Ansari asked members to resume their seats and let the Question Hour to proceed. "This is unbecoming (of members)," he said when members raised slogans.

"Mr Kamal Akhtar (SP) you are coming to notice. Don't raise slogans," he observed even as the din continued.

Minutes into the pandemonium, Ansari adjourned the House till tomorrow.


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