Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for short periods today after opposition uproar over delay in tabling a CAG report on allocation of coal blocks and a statement on a train accident in Andhra Pradesh.
The Rajya Sabha witnessed two adjournments before noon as Opposition BJP stood firm on its demand for suspension of Question Hour to discuss the reported Rs 1,80,000 crore loss to exchequer in allocation of coal blocks to private companies.
As soon as Speaker Meira Kumar finished making obituary references in the Lok Sabha, Opposition members were on their feet demanding a statement on the accident from Railway Minister Mukul Roy.
Ramchandra Dome (CPI-M), Ananth Kumar (BJP) and Anand Paranjpe (Shiv Sena) were on their feet demanding a statement from the government on the accident. Some TDP members trooped into the Well of the house on the same issue.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) member Bansa Gopal Chowdhury led a group of members to the Well vociferously demanding that the government table the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on allocation of coal blocks.
"Why is the Prime Minister's Office sitting on the CAG report," Chowdhury asked while flashing a copy of a newspaper in the Well.
The group raised slogans like '3 years of UPA, more than 30 scams', 'Down with the UPA government', 'is this the way a Democracy functions'.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was seen asking about the issue from Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal. The minister was seen showing newspaper cuttings of the report on government extending "undue benefits" to private entities in connection with coal block allocation.
The Speaker took up the Question Hour and Food Minister K V Thomas replied to some queries on a scheme for providing foodgrains to the poor but nothing could be heard in the din.
As the uproar continued, the Chair adjourned the House till noon.
In the Upper House, the uproar started after Chairman Hamid Ansari told BJP member Rajiv Pratap Rudy that his notice for uspension of Question Hour has not been admitted.
"There is no suspension of Question Hour," Ansari remarked. "You cannot raise questions that are not listed."
Rudy was joined by other BJP members including Prakash Javadekar who flashed, what he claimed, a letter from the CVC recommending a CBI probe in the coal block allocation.
"This is not going on record," Ansari said. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said the CAG report has not yet been tabled. "Where is the report? Report has not been tabled," he said.
Ansari said CAG reports are tabled and discussions are held only after that. "It can't be taken up in this manner. You cannot do this," he ruled before adjourning the House for
When the House reassembled, BJP members insisted on being allowed to at least make their point before Question Hour is taken up.
Ansari then said the issue can be taken up in Zero Hour after giving a proper notice. "If you have given a notice (for Zero Hour) mention, it will be considered," he told Rudy.
With the din continuing, Ansari adjourned the House till noon.