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Parliament stalled over Gujarat Lokayukta issue

Friday September 02, 2011 06:34:13 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Both houses of parliament were disrupted Friday with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding the recall of Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal for appointing a Lokayukta without consulting the state government.

The Rajya Sabha saw repeated adjournments losing the question hour, the house then being adjourned till 2.30 p.m.. In the Lok Sabha, while question hour was taken up, the house thereafter had to be adjourned till 2 p.m.

BJP leaders also met President Pratibha Patil to raise the issue this afternoon.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned four times on the issue with BJP MPs raising slogans and calling the appointment of the Lokayukta in Gujarat a violation of the constitution.

The first adjournment came as the house took up question hour after the government clarifications on elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). BJP MPs created a din on the issue, saying it was a violation of the country's federal structure.

Chairman Hamid Ansari first adjourned the house for 15 minutes, then till noon, then for another 15 minutes. It was finally adjourned till 2.30 p.m. by the chair, P.J. Kurien, when the BJP members persisted with their protest, gathering near his podium and raising slogans.

In the Lok Sabha, soon after question hour was over, MPs from the BJP were on their feet, raising the issue and terming it an attack on the country's federal structure.

Speaker Meira Kumar could not continue with the proceedings of the house, as several slogan-shouting BJP MPs rushed towards her podium. Her pleas to the BJP MPs to return to their seats went unheard following which she adjourned the house till 2 p.m.

The BJP, which is the ruling party in Gujarat, has been upset over the controversial appointment of the Lokayukta in the state by the governor, bypassing the state government.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.

Beniwal had last week appointed retired judge Justice R.A. Mehta as the state Lokayukta. The Gujarat government has challenged the decision in the high court. The post was lying vacant for the past seven years.





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