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PR firm owner's phone tapping disrupts Parl


First published: April 28, 2010, 4:20 PM IST | Updated: April 28, 2010
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PR firm owner's phone tapping disrupts Parl
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice as Opposition members demanded an immediate discussion on the issue.

New Delhi: Report of the tapping of phone conversations between a high-profile lobbyist and PR firm owner and Communications Minister A Raja revealing alleged wrongdoing in the allocation of 2G Spectrum generated much heat in parliament on Wednesday and disrupted the functioning of both houses.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice as Opposition members demanded an immediate discussion on the issue, while the Lok Sabha was adjourned once.

Trouble erupted as soon as the Rajya Sabha assembled with AIADMK and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members raising the issue and demanding a discussion on the issue.

In a brief statement, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley (BJP) said: "Early this week, there was a report about phone tapping. The home minister made a statement that those were not authorised. Today there is a news report which seems to be an authorised case of phone tapping.

"The question is whether leaders of industry are involved in the allocation of portfolios by the prime minister. The allocation of 2G spectrum seems to be linked to this."

As the protests continued, Chairman Hamid Ansari said: "If you want a discussion, it will be organised." But this did not satisfy V Maitreyan and other AIADMK members, who continued to shout slogans.

Ansari then adjourned the house till 12 noon.

The disturbances continued when the house reassembled and 15 minutes into the sitting, Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan adjourned the house for 15 minutes.

There was a brief interruption when the house resumed at 12.30 pm but Khan firmly restored order by asking Maitreyan to serve a notice, following which a discussion would be scheduled.

In the Lok Sabha, members from the AIADMK, the Left and the Janata Dal-United raised the issue during zero hour, while BJP MPs created a ruckus on the breach of privilege notice given by the party deputy leader Gopinath Munde and 44 other MPs against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

AIADMK leader MThampi Durai, referring to the media report, alleged that 2G spectrum allocations by Raja had cost the exchequer an estimated Rs 100,000 crore. DMK MPs contested this.

Simultaneously, BJP MPs were on their feet on the breach of privilege notice, even as Speaker Meira Kumar said the matter was under her consideration.

The BJP had Tuesday served a breach of privilege notice against the prime minister for his remarks outside the house rejecting the demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the alleged tapping of phones of prominent parliamentarians and wrongdoing in the Indian Premier League.

As the protests continued, the speaker adjourned the house till 2 pm.

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