Sonia, Kamal Nath meet PM as Parliament remains stalled
The BJP's Parliamentary Board has decided that it will not let Parliament function till Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal resign.
New Delhi: 1:00 pm: As the Lok Sabha resumed, uproar continued in the House with BJP MPs demanding Manmohan Singh's resignation. The Lok Sabha has now been adjourned for the day and the Food Security Bill may again be taken up on Wednesday.
12:40 pm: The Congress Core Group is meeting in Parliament to chalk out a strategy to end Parliament deadlock.
12:17 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath are meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as Parliament continues to be stalled.
12:06 pm: The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 1 pm as BJP Mps continued to shout 'PM must quit' slogans. The Opposition MPs also shouted slogans calling the UPA members 'thieves'.
12 noon: Parliament resumed after being adjourned till 12. However, uproar continues in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha as BJP MPs shout 'PM must quit' slogans.
11:30 am: The Congress is trying to end the Parliament deadlock. Sources say Parliamentary Affairs Ministry Kamal Nath will speak to political parties, especially the SP and the BJP to try and end the deadlock. Sources say Kamal Nath spoke to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday morning.
11:07 am: While the Congress is trying to push through the Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Parliamentary Board has decided that it will not let Parliament function till Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal resign. The BJP is also demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation.
The BJP Parliamentary Board has also decided that it will not co-operate in the passing of any legislations till the two ministers resign. "Does the UPA want to get away with murder? The UPA expects us to support them in this legislative cover up? We demand PM's, Law Minister's and Railway Minister's resignation," BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
Both Houses of Parliament have been adjourned till 12 after uproar by BJP MPs demanding the Prime Minister's resignation.
The Samajwadi Party has also demanded an explanation from the government on scams. SP leader Ram Asrey Khushwaha said, "We need an explanation on all the scams that have come to light. What is the point of Parliament functioning and bill being passed when the nation has lost all faith in the government?"
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Monday sought to blame the opposition for disruption in Parliament, saying they were "bursting debates" and "killing arguments" in the House as he backed the Food Security Bill in its present form.
Sen, an eminent economist, said the essence of democracy is to have arguments and there is a need for skillful presentations of what the issues are.
On Monday, there was uproar in the Lok Sabha with the BJP, its allies and the Left storming the well of the House even as the National Food Security Bill was taken up for discussion.
However, a brief debate was allowed on the Bill. The government will try to have the Food Bill passed on Tuesday. The Food Minister KV Thomas called the bill, which has Congress President Sonia Gandhi's strong backing, a historic initiative.
Members from Left and Right in the Well denouncing "dictatorial ways" of the government in pushing through the much talked about legislation when Parliament is paralysed over various scams. "Loktantra ki hatyari sarkar, nahin chalegi..." chanted BJP members who were joined by Left members in denouncing the Congress-led coalition.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, whose brainchild is the Food Security Bill, was prominent among those present. Sonia, who is also UPA Chairperson, virtually led the treasury benches in marshalling forces in favour of the legislation.
The BJP slammed the government for trying to pass bills to divert attention from corruption'. "This government is not only corrupt but is also an oppressive one. Outside Parliament, it indulges in corruption and inside Parliament, it acts as an oppressor. It tried to get the Food Security Bill passed in the Lok Sabha today thinking this will divert the country's attention from their corruption. This is condemnable," Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told reporters.
Claiming that BJP is also keen on passage of the Food and Land Acquisition Bills, she said such far-reaching legislations cannot be passed without a proper debate. "But when the atmosphere is so tense inside the House and members are protesting and voicing their demand for the resignation of ministers, an attempt to pass such Bills is improper," Sushma said. She pointed out that there is time for the government till May 10 to get these two Bills passed but it should first ask the two ministers to step down.
(With additional information from PTI)