New Delhi, Dec 21: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day amidst uproar by Congress MPs on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh and the BJP’s “smear campaign” against the UPA in the 2G spectrum case.
The final adjournment came minutes after the House met post lunch at 2 p.m. after Congress members continued with their noisy protests, seeking apology from Modi over his remarks against Manmohan Singh and others, and from BJP for its attack against the then UPA government over 2G spectrum allocation.
The second issue followed a special court here acquitting all the accused including DMK leaders — former Telecom Minister A. Raja and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi — in the alleged multi-thousand crore rupee 2G spectrum scandal in which it was claimed that it caused the state exchequer a loss of Rs 1,76,379 crore.
Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal raised a point of order as soon as the House met post lunch and demanded to know if a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) can be called in the House for seeking clarifications from him.
“CAG is a constitutional body. I want to ask if the CAG before placing its report in Parliament can make it public through the press? Can anybody be held guilty on the basis of CAG report? Can an inquiry be set up on the basis of CAG report? Usually, CAG’s 99.9 per cent of objections are cleared in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Sir, if a CAG tries to defame a government, can we call him in the House or not?” he said.
Agarwal’s point came as cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who made a rare appearance in the House, was to participate in a short duration discussion on the right to play and future of sports in India.
Tendulkar, a nominated member, rose to give his maiden speech in Parliament but could not speak amid ruckus. Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu urged the Congress members to allow Tendulkar to speak as he was to give his maiden speech in the Upper House.
“An honourable member, who has been awarded Bharat Ratna, wants to speak on an important issue like sports. Let him speak. All focus should be on Sachinji,” he said.
Actress Jaya Bachchan, a Samajwadi Party MP, whispered something to Tendulkar. She later told reporters that she told Tendulkar to sit down until the protests subside.
But the Congress members continued with their sloganeering.
“This does not suit you… nothing is going to happen… You don’t have sportsman spirit,” Naidu said before adjourning the House for the day.
Earlier as the Upper House met for the day, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the two issues.
“Till yesterday (Wednesday) we had been demanding the Prime Minister’s clarification on his remarks against Manmohan Singhji but today another incident took place and now we want clarification on both the issues.
“They should now prove on which basis they had alleged that there was scandal of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Through false campaign, an environment against UPA was created and was the reason we are here in the opposition benches and you are there in treasury benches,” he said.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said that the Prime Minister could not come in the House if such ruckus continue on a daily basis. Modi usually comes to Rajya Sabha on Thursdays for a while.
The Chairman asked Azad to stop as he had not given any prior notice over the issue but he continued, leading to Naidu adjourning the house till 2 p.m.
The alleged scam on the issuance of licences and allocation of 2G spectrum by the Department of Telecom occurred during the Congress-led UPA government’s first tenure in 2008 but was widely reported in 2010 following a CAG report.
Meanwhile, Governor Acharya Devvrat has dissolved the state legislative assembly and asked the present government headed by Virbhadra Singh to continue in office till the new assembly is constituted.
The BJP wrested power from the Congress, winning close to two third majority with 44 seats in the 68-member Assembly.