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10 Feb 2017

Congress walkout and Demand for 'apology'

TT, New Delhi, Feb. 9: Opposition parties today demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise for his "abusive" speech in the Rajya Sabha, leading to disruptions in both Houses of Parliament.
Congress MPs staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha after shouting slogans in the well of the House to protest against his "tasteless" jibe at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "PM, maafi maango (PM, apologise)," the MPs chanted.
The MPs had trooped to the well after the Speaker didn't allow their leader Mallikarjun Kharge to speak on the issue during zero hour. Before walking out, Kharge said the country had been disgraced by the "tasteless" jibe and promised to continue the protest till the Prime Minister apologised and retracted his remarks.
The Speaker didn't adjourn the House and the Congress members returned after their symbolic walkout.
In the Rajya Sabha, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury wanted a discussion on a motion he had moved disapproving of Modi quoting late CPM leaders Jyotirmoy Basu, a former Lok Sabha MP, and former general secretary H.S. Surjeet to attack Indira Gandhi.
"Comments that have been made by the honourable Prime Minister about my party's former general secretary, who is dead and gone, and about a former member of the Lok Sabha... who (too) is dead... cannot be tolerated without being answered," Yechury said.
But finance minister Arun Jaitley said the discussion on the motion of thanks was over, and thanks had been given by voice vote yesterday. Seeking clarification on that discussion would amount to going against the Chair's ruling. Jaitley cited rules to say the government has the right to reply to the discussion on the President's address but there is no right for any rejoinder.

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