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Rajya Sabha: In Upper House, the noise is about killing of Dalit in Punjab

Top Congress leaders had decided over the weekend to raise these two issues in Parliament, sources said.

 

Opposition members protest in the well of the Rajya Sabha. (Source: PTI) Opposition members protest in the well of the Rajya Sabha. (Source: PTI)

Having faced criticism outside the party for stalling Parliament over the National Herald case, besides disquiet within, the Congress took up fresh issues Monday while continuing its disruption of Parliament. It stalled the Rajya Sabha over the killing of a Dalit in Punjab and disrupted the Lok Sabha over the “exclusion” of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from a function where the prime minister would be present to unveil the statue of former chief minister R Sankar.

Top Congress leaders had decided over the weekend to raise these two issues in Parliament, sources said. Towards the end of last week, the party had concluded that stalling Parliament over the National Herald issue was proving counterproductive as the government had effectively put across its point — that a legal battle has to be fought in court. On Monday morning, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi met top leaders and it was reportedly decided then that the Kerala and Punjab issues would be raised in he respective Houses.

Congress members staged a protest in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue against the killing of the Dalit in Punjab. “Innocent people have been butchered. This is completely out of order and out of line,” Rahul said.

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Apart from the Congress, the BSP too was keen to raise the Punjab issue in the Rajya Sabha; it does not have a presence in the Lok Sabha. The Congress raised it as soon as the House assembled. Waving newspaper clippings and shouting slogans, its members trooped into the well and BSP members followed them after party chief Mayawati directed them to do so, with a swift wave of her right hand.

BSP and Congress members raised slogans in unison. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said there was “jungle raj” in Punjab and demanded sacking of the Akali Dal-BJP Government.

Terming the Punjab incident “painful and shameful”, Mayawati demanded that the state government should be sacked. The House had to be adjourned four times in the morning session amid sloganeering for sacking of the state government.

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“The coalition government in Punjab is worse than terrorism. There is no law and order in the state. The state government should be dismissed… We are not just demanding action (against accused), we are talking about dismissal of the (state) government,” Azad said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government condemns the incident and supports stern action being taken against the accused, but added a state subject cannot be discussed in Parliament. Naqvi said the state government has to be “trusted”. “The culprits should be given strictest possible punishment. The state government is taking action. The state government should be trusted,” he said.

First published on: 15-12-2015 at 03:22:07 am
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