Proceedings of Lok Sabha were virtually washed out Tuesday following unabated noisy protest by AIADMK members demanding action against former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti on the Aircel-Maxis issue.
The proceedings were disrupted right from the start as the House was adjourned thrice since it assembled and finally till the day by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan in the afternoon, as AIADMK members stormed the Well and raised slogans pressing for action against those involved in the Aircel-Maxis telecom deal, including Karti.
Amid continued din, the Speaker asked AIADMK leader P Venugopal to speak on the issue they were trying to raise.
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Venugopal demanded that the Prime Minister should come to the House and make a statement on the matter, which, he alleged also involved the former Finance Minister and a former DMK Minister.
His allegations that the former ministers had made hundreds of crores in the deal evoked sharp protests from the Congress members, who shouted back at him.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy’s assurance that the matter was in the Supreme Court and the government would do “whatever is within the law”, failed to satisfy the agitated members who continued to raise slogans like “We want action”, “Aircel-Maxis, why delay, why delay” and “NDA sarkar, take action”.
The AIADMK members also displayed copies of an English daily, which claimed that Karti had invested in real estate in various countries quoting reports of the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities which had carried out searches at his premises.
Amidst the uproar, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House for the day at around 1440 hours.
Trouble started as soon as the House assembled for the day as AIADMK members trooped into the Well chanting slogans.
Though the Speaker continued with the Question Hour for some time but then adjourned the House briefly. When the House was adjourned, AIADMK members were seen distributing copies of the newspaper to BJP members.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi was seen talking to Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai who belongs to AIADMK.
Similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled, with Mahajan ordered laying of papers and permitting some members to raise matters of public importance. As AIADMK members again trooped into the Well raising slogans, she adjourned the House till noon.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said if they gave proper notice, the issue could be discussed in the House and the government was open to a debate.
At one point of time, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge stood up to raise some issue, apparently relating to the privilege notice against HRD Minister Smriti Irani over the Rohith Vemula suicide issue, but he was shouted down by the AIADMK members.
Some Left members were also seen standing on their seats seeking Speaker’s intervention for restoring order. The House was then adjourned for the third time till 1400 hours.