Thursday, March 14, 2013

Question Hour stalled in Parliament

NEW DELHI, March 14, 2013 PTI

Question Hour was stalled in both the Houses of Parliament on Thursday as UPA constituent DMK and opposition members created uproar over the arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka and the terror attack in Kashmir.

DMK and AIADMK members trooped into the Well of the Lok Sabha while three AIADMK members squatted in the Well of the Rajya Sabha demanding that the government make efforts to ensure release of over 50 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy.

In the Lok Sabha, trouble began as soon as Speaker Meira Kumar made an obituary reference to the five CRPF jawans killed in a terror attack in Srinagar on Wednesday.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj demanded a statement on the attack from Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who was not present in the House.

"Does our duty get over after paying homage to the victims every time a terror attack takes place? They come here and behead our soldier; they dress up as sportsmen and carry out suicide attacks. How long will this continue," she asked.

BJP members were on their feet raising slogans against the government and demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Shinde's presence in the House.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Singh Ghatowar's assurance that the Home Minister would make a statement at noon failed to pacify the opposition members.

DMK, AIADMK, CPI and VCK members were in the Well waving placards demanding the release of Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy.

The Speaker made repeated appeals to the members to return to their seats and raise the issue during Zero Hour. As members were unrelenting, she adjourned the House till noon.

In the Rajya Sabha, V. Maitreyan (AIADMK) raised the issue of fishermen and soon rushed to the Well and reached close to the podium.

When Chairman Hamid Ansari warned him, Maitreyan along with his two party colleagues N Balaganga and A. Elavarasan squatted in the Well.

Mr. Ansari then adjourned the House till noon.

Earlier, Tiruchi Siva (DMK) said that in the month of March only six incidents of arrests of fishermen have taken place and demanded a permanent solution to the problem.

As soon as the House met for the day, BJP members demanded suspension of the Question Hour to discuss Wednesday's terror attack in Srinagar.

They, however, resumed their seats after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath gave an assurance that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde will make a statement in Lok Sabha at noon and then in the Upper House.
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