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Sunday, September 19, 2021

September 1, 1981, Forty Years Ago: Scandal rocks House

In the Rajya Sabha, the Deputy Chairman, Shyam Lal Yadav, gave an indication that he would allow a call attention motion on Tuesday.

By: Editorial |
September 1, 2021 3:25:02 am
This is the front page of The Indian Express on September 1, 1981.

The reported collection of huge sums of money by a chief minister in the name of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi rocked both Houses of Parliament, culminating in a walkout in the Lok Sabha when the Speaker refused to admit an adjournment motion on the the subject. In the Rajya Sabha, the Deputy Chairman, Shyam Lal Yadav, gave an indication that he would allow a call attention motion on Tuesday. For well over 30 minutes, the Opposition in both Houses jointly demanded a detailed discussion on what it termed the “scandal of the century and the detestable attempt to use the prime minister as a “commodity of corruption”. Almost all Opposition members carried copies of The Indian Express, which gave details of the money collected by A R Antulay from business houses and cooperative societies.

Rail tragedy

Fifteen persons were killed and 39 injured when the New Delhi-bound Tamil Nadu Express derailed between Ralapet and Sirpur-Kagaznagar on Monday, the South Central railway announced in Hyderabad. The casualty figure was based on the recovery of bodies and the authorities did not rule out more victims. Of the 21 bogies of the super-fast express, 19 had derailed. Unofficial estimates put the death toll at 20.

Antulay’s future

The Maharashtra Chief Minister, A R Antulay faces renewed threats from dissidents. A delegation of state MLAs is expected to arrive in Delhi on Tuesday to meet the Prime Minister to complain against his style of functioning in general and fund collection in particular. According to Congress (I) High Command sources, Mrs Gandhi was unhappy with Antulay. A party spokesman, however, said that Antulay had not been asked to step down. The sources added that if Antulay resigned on his own, he would not be asked to stay on. Antulay met the prime minister on Monday morning in an attempt to p explain his controversial fund collection.

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