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Parliament logjam continues, LS Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspends 25 MPs

New Delhi, Aug 3 : There seems no respite in the ongoing impasse in the Parliament as no work was carried out for the tenth day on Monday and as many as 25 Congress MPs of the Lok Sabha were suspended by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Amid ruckus and continuous protests by the opposition, both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day without any work.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tried to defend herself over the allegations levelled against her for helping former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi to procure travel papers to UK.

“I wanted to clarify this from the very beginning but the opposition is not ready for any discussion. They only resort to ruckus and chaos. I did not ever request UK government to arrange the travel papers for Lalit Modi,” Swaraj said even as the oppositions created chaos in the Upper House.

However, the Congress said that Sushma Swaraj’s statement should not be taken on record as it was done without notice.

Retaliating back, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “I agree with Congress demand that anything spoken against permission of Chairperson should be removed from the records. Whatever was said against Sushma Swaraj in last few days should be removed from the record.”

“Anand Sharma wants to put censorship on media coverage of House proceedings as the Minister is ready to respond,” he accused in turn.

Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha PJ Kurien also asked the House to maintain order if they wanted a ruling, warning that the House shall be adjourned otherwise.

He said, “If a minister responds to the allegation being made by opposition, then nothing to take cognizance to it. The Opposition made allegation and the minister responded, why to worry.”

The Congress-led opposition parties continued to demand the resignation of Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for their alleged help to disgraced cricket tycoon Lalit Modi and of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam recruitment scam.

However, the government ruled out the resignations stating that no FIR has been filed against any of their ministers.

“Ministers of UPA resigned not because BJP is demanding. There was an FIR in one case. PM believes in zero tolerance towards corruption. There is not an iota of charge against these ministers,” said Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

In Lok Sabha, similar kind of ruckus took place where at one point Speaker Sumitra Mahajan named Congress leaders who held placards and asked them to keep aside the posters and take their seats.

Opposition members entered the well of the House.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh once again said the government was ready for a debate but ruled out any resignations.

“We are ready for discussion. Opposition cannot be ignored in democracy. I clarify that there is no FIR against any of our minister, nor any complaint with CVC, so there is no question of any resignation,” said Singh.

But with ruckus continuing, Mahajan suspended 25 Congress MPs, including Gaurav Gogoi, Deepender Singh Hooda, MK Raghavan, Venugopal amongst many others, for disrupting the House proceedings for five consecutive working days.

Earlier, assailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being ‘silent’ on scandals involving his party colleagues, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday made it clear that her party would continue protests in the Parliament until the ruling BJP agreed to remove its leaders caught in various controversies.

” We will fight against the brazen attitude of the government,” she said at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting.

“The PM has been very free with his promises yet he seems totally incapable of delivering on them – for its silence on acts of monumental corruption, its willful violations of law and gross misdemeanors on part of its leading lights,” she said.

“The “Mann ki baat” man appears to retreat into a “Maun Vrat” whenever there is a scandal involving his colleagues,” she said.

Her sharp reaction came ahead of an all-party meeting that was scheduled to be held later in the day to discuss a way out of the deadlock that has stalled business in Parliament since the Monsoon session began.

However, the Congress rejected the debate and said Swaraj should resign first.

Sonia Gandhi said: “Today, we have to listen to sermons on parliamentary behaviour from those who not only defended but also advocated disruption as a legitimate tactic when we they were in the opposition.”

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