The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bribe lash stings Atal to action
- Prime Minister to make statement on Judeo scandal after return from Chogm

New Delhi, Dec. 3: The Dilip Singh Judeo controversy and violence against Biharis in Assam threw proceedings in both Houses of Parliament out of gear today, forcing the Centre to give an assurance that the Prime Minister will give a statement on the cash-on-camera scandal.

In the Lok Sabha, Opposition and even NDA members forced several adjournments, demanding a discussion on the violence in Assam. In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition stalled proceedings, demanding a statement from the Prime Minister on the Judeo issue.

In both Houses, members wanted a suspension of question hour and an immediate discussion on the issues. Faced with their insistence, Union parliamentary affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said: “The Prime Minister will make a statement on the Judeo issue early next week after he returns from the Chogm summit.”

Swaraj said the Opposition has also moved an adjournment motion on central ministers misusing public sector resources. “Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi has sought factual notes from cabinet secretary Kamal Pande on both the issues,” she said.

Swaraj added that it would then be left to the Speaker to decide on the admissibility of both the adjournment notices — the Judeo tape issue and the misuse of public sector resources.

The Opposition as well as NDA members may, however, continue to stall Parliament proceedings tomorrow since all eyes are riveted on the results of the Assembly elections.

The results are going to be out by the afternoon. No serious business is scheduled in Parliament for tomorrow.

This morning, as soon as the Lok Sabha met, Samata Party MP Prabhunath Singh raised the Assam violence, charging the Congress government in Assam with being a “silent spectator” while Biharis were being killed. “The Assam chief minister is involved,” Prabhunath alleged.

Indian Federal Democratic Party member Rajesh Ranjan aggressively pitched in and moved to the well of the House wagging a finger at Joshi. He demanded an immediate discussion on the killing of “300 Biharis”.

Soon, Ranjan clashed with Rashtriya Janata Dal member Raghuvansh Prasad Singh. CPM MP Somnath Chatterjee and Lok Janshakti MP Ram Vilas Paswan had to pacify the angry members to go back to their seats. Ranjan, however, persisted with his shouting and the Speaker finally told him: “Do not misbehave in the House. I have thrice told you to return to your seat.”

In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition zeroed in on the Judeo tape controversy. Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee demanded a suspension of question hour and a discussion on the adjournment motion it had tabled on the video tape issue.

“The Prime Minister should make a statement in the House on the issue,” said Mukherjee.

Responding to the Opposition’s demand, Rajya Sabha leader and Union finance minister Jaswant Singh said he would communicate the sentiments of the House to the Prime Minister. “But it is not possible now to give a commitment to the House on the date of discussion,” he added.

At the insistence of Congress and Left members, Rajya Sabha chairperson Bhairon Singh Shekhawat allowed senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal to make a brief statement.

Mukherjee argued that it was on the Prime Minister’s recommendation that Judeo was appointed minister.

“It was the Prime Minister who asked the minister to resign following the video tape controversy. He should therefore make a statement in the House,” Mukherjee said.

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