Debating India

Jogi tape controversy rocks Parliament

Monday 8 December 2003

Article paru dans le Times of India, ?dition du 8 d?cembre 2003.

NEW DELHI : The Jogi tape controversy on Monday rocked Parliament with angry BJP members training their guns on Congress President Sonia Gandhi leading to uproarious scenes forcing adjournment of both Houses for nearly two hours.

Meeting after the weekend recess when the tape controversy broke out, the BJP, which has given a notice for breach of privilege against Sonia in the Lok Sabha, described former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi’s attempt to allegedly bribe the party MLAs to break the party as the "most shameful" episode in India ’s five decades of democracy.

Amidst strong protests by Congress members, BJP members Madan Lal Khurana, V K Malhotra, Kirit Somaiyya and others wanted Gandhi’s presence in the House and a statement on the issue. This was strongly opposed by Congress members and what they said was not audible in the subsequent din.

In Rajya Sabha, BJP members stalled proceedings over the Jogi episode amid strong protests from Congress members.

Soon after Question Hour, BJP member S S Ahluwalia, supported by several of his party colleagues, demanded an explanation from Leader of Opposition Manmohan Singh about Jogi’s alleged attempt to split BJP Legislature Party in Chhattisgarh to help form a non-BJP government in the state.

Finding the BJP members in an unrelenting mood, Speaker Manohar Joshi and Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat adjourned the proceedings for lunch ahead of schedule.

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