New Delhi, Feb. 26: The government today came out in defence of deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha, P.J. Kurien, while the Left led by the CPM staged a walkout.
Unwilling to accept that the government should make a statement “in defence of an officer of the legislature”, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury objected to the very exercise of a statement by parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath. He said Kurien himself should make a statement.
Kurien’s name figuring in what is known as the Suryanelli rape case of 1996 had the Congress in a bind initially, on how to react.
The Left in Kerala and New Delhi has demanded the removal of Kurien from the post of deputy chairman.
Kamal Nath today said the case had not stood ground in the Supreme Court as there was no evidence against Kurien.
Before the minister could make his statement, Yechury objected.
Chairman Hamid Ansari told the CPM MP that it was on his directions that the government was making a statement but Yechury said the government making a statement would be improper.
“How can the government defend the officer of the legislature; where is the separation of the legislature and the executive?” Yechury asked.
The CPM leader asked Ansari to “examine” his argument and insisted that constitutional principles were being violated.
Yechury said if Kurien was the accused, he should come and make a statement in the house.
“We have no problems with that,” he said. When the Chair did not yield, the Left members led by Yechury walked out in protest. Only a few Left parties’ MPs were in the house at the time Yechury spoke this afternoon.
None of the other MPs from either the BJP or parties like SP and BSP who share the benches with the Left parties, spoke during the short duration of the argument.
Kurien, however, has kept away from the house mostly.