Session: Opposition targets government over scams
Tuesday November 09, 2010 04:59:39 PM,
Barring a few noisy scenes over alleged scandals involving
corruption, peace largely prevailed in parliament Tuesday - the
first day of the month-long winter session as opposition parties
targeted the government over "scams after scams".
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day after obituary
references but the Lok Sabha conducted question hour, some
legislative business and okayed a constitutional amendment bill
seeking to change the name of Orissa to Odisha.
As soon as the session began at 11 a.m., opposition members in the
Lok Sabha refused to let the question hour start and demanded a
discussion on graft issues linked to the Commonwealth Games, the
Adarsh cooperative housing society scam and the 2G spectrum
Amid noisy protests and slogan shouting, Speaker Meira Kumar
pleaded with protesting members that any issue could be raised
during the zero hour as Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal
had agreed to allow them to do so under matters of urgent public
The house then carried on with the question hour dominated by
questions related to bad condition of highways in the country.
Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath in his defence blamed the
excess rains this year for the poor condition of roads.
"It is true that the condition of highways is not good in some
parts. This year we had excess rains," he said.
Following the question hour, MPs again raised the issue of scams
but this time the speaker allowed them to make their point, though
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Basudeb Acharia,
hitting out at the government, said: "Scandal after scandal is
tumbling out since the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-II came
"We have corruption in the 2G spectrum allocation, then the
Commonwealth Games and now the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society.
The entire nation is ashamed of the housing scam as the land
belonged to defence and the houses were meant for families of
Kargil (conflict) martyrs," Acharia said.
He was referring to the controversial 31-storeyed residential
block being built in Mumbai's upscale Colaba that was originally
meant to be a six-storeyed apartment block for housing Kargil war
heroes and widows.
"Those flats were given to relatives and kith and kin of some
defence officers, even to some former army chiefs. How did it
happen? How were all rules and regulations flouted?" the CPI-M
Acharia said the resignation of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok
Chavan on the issue "is not enough".
Chavan Tuesday stepped down after the Congress leadership accepted
his resignation following allegations of his association with the
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, of the Bharatiya Janata Party,
also lambasted the government for the "rampant corruption" and
demanded a debate in the house to "expose the government and
corruption in its schemes".
"There is scam after scam. Since UPA-II has come to power, we have
had number of scandals. I want to raise the corruption in the 2G
spectrum allocation, Adarsh housing scheme and the Commonwealth
Games. But believe me, the government's road development
programmes are also rocked by scams...That is a bigger scam than
the 2G, Adarsh and CWG (scandals)," she claimed.
Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) demanded a joint
parliamentary committee probe into the corruption allegations as
"the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) is an arm of the ruling
elite and cannot be trusted for fairness".
During the proceedings, opposition members shouted slogans against
the government, demanding an adjournment to pave the way for a
discussion on corruption.
The parliamentary affairs minister intervened in the meantime and
assured that the government was ready to discuss any issue.
He requested the speaker to take a decision on the matter and
decide when to have a debate.
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