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Both Houses disrupted over masjid demolition

Thursday 7 December 2006

Special Correspondent

No business could be transacted

Lok Sabha met thrice, each time for less than 5 minutes In Upper House trouble began after question hour

NEW DELHI: Proceedings in Parliament were disrupted on Wednesday over the demolition of the Babri Masjid 14 years ago. While no business was transacted in the Lok Sabha, in the Rajya Sabha it was the same situation after question hour.

The Lok Sabha met thrice, each time for less than five minutes. In the morning, members condoled the death of two former MPs before launching into sloganeering; those of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena shouting pro-mandir slogans and the ruling benches along with Left parties and the Samajwadi Party (SP) countering them with demands for action against those who pulled down the Babri Masjid.

The BJP members had come with pro-mandir pamphlets but Speaker Somnath Chatterjee directed them not to show them. With neither side yielding, he adjourned the House till noon. When it met again, there was no let-up as SP members picketed the well and others were on their feet shouting slogans. Through the din, the Speaker got papers listed for the day tabled before calling for the second adjournment. Post-lunch the members stuck to their guns, forcing the third adjournment - for the day.

The tone of proceedings was set even before Parliament met. Left, Rashtriya Janata Dal and SP members sat on dharna outside protesting the demolition of the Babri Masjid and demanding the arrest of the BJP leaders involved, including Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L. K. Advani.

In anticipation, the BJP distributed two sets of pamphlets: One had the slogan Jai Sri Ram, mandir wahin banayaengae (The temple will be built in Ayodhya) and the other Ram naam se sharmatae, Afzal ko gale lagatae (They shy away from taking Ram’s name, but embrace Mohammad Afzal - convicted in the Parliament attack case).

In the Rajya Sabha, trouble began when Deputy Chairman K. Rehman Khan asked Amar Singh (SP) to speak on one of the two issues he had been permitted to raise. While Mr. Khan wanted him to first speak on Dadri [Reliance project in Uttar Pradesh], the SP leader sought to raise Babri [Masjid demolition] first.

Even as they were thrashing out the issue, the BJP and Shiv Sena ranks raised an uproar.

See online : The Hindu

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