The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Carnage cuts budget session short

New Delhi, March 20: The Lok Sabha today decided to cut short by a day the first part of the budget session and to meet again on April 26 as the Opposition refused to relent even after almost a weeklong impasse over the Nandigram killings.

The Rajya Sabha, which had been adjourned for the day before the Lok Sabha decided to go in recess, would meet tomorrow.

The first phase of the budget session was scheduled to end tomorrow.

Before deciding to go in recess, the Lok Sabha was adjourned twice over the Nandigram violence for the fifth consecutive day as Speaker Somnath Chatterjee refused to allow an adjournment motion in the House.

The motion was moved by leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani who sought to link the “state-sponsored” violence in Nandigram with the central government’s failure to properly implement the policy on special economic zones.

The House was adjourned first as soon as a new MP, Manik Singh, elected from Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh, was sworn in. Prabhunath Singh of the Janata Dal (United) got up to say that he had given a notice for discussion on Nandigram. The Speaker refused to let him raise the issue, plunging the House into chaos.

When Advani got up to introduce the adjournment motion after the House reconvened at 12, CPM MPs objected. The Speaker said he was allowing Advani to introduce the motion though deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal had disallowed a similar move yesterday.

Advani said there was no formal ruling on the motion. “But even if there was, I have moved the motion today. I want to discuss the government’s failure, the way state terror was let loose in Nandigram…. Marxism has been exposed in West Bengal,” he said.

The statement provoked instant protests from the CPM members. As nothing could be heard in the din, the Speaker adjourned the House.

When the House met again at 4 pm, the turmoil over the Cauvery water dispute forced Chatterjee to abruptly adjourn proceedings for 30 minutes and then till April 26.

Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha, too. As soon as the House met in the morning, the Opposition as well as Congress and CPM members were on their feet. Within a minute, the House was adjourned for an hour.

At 12, when the Rajya Sabha reconvened, the uproar over Nandigram continued. Deputy chairman K. Rahman Khan, however, persisted and got the day’s legislative business conducted in the din.

The House was then adjourned first for two hours and finally for the day.

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