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Uproar in Rajya Sabha as Opposition members target PM Modi

Accusing Modi of dragging political debate to a “new low”, members from Congress, CPM and JDU also joined hands to slam the PM for not agreeing to reply to clarifications by JD(U) member Sharad Yadav.

Written by Anand Mishra , Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhii |
February 10, 2017 2:26:44 am
narendra modi, pm modi, manmohan singh, modi remark, raincoat remark, modi target manmohan, congress, congress target modi, parliamnet, budget session, indian express news, india news Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Manmohan Singh. File photo

Angry over PM Narendra Modi’s raincoat barb on predecessor Manmohan Singh and his remarks on Indira Gandhi, Congress Thursday forced two adjournments in Rajya Sabha and staged a walkout from Lok Sabha.

While replying to the Motion of Thanks on Presidential address, Modi had said in Rajya Sabha Wednesday that Singh knew the art of bathing while wearing a raincoat.

On Thursday, members from treasury benches, including Leader of the House Arun Jaitley and those from Opposition benches in Rajya Sabha raised a number of points of order to counter each other, where disorder prevailed for the short span of its functioning in the pre-noon session on the last day of the first leg of Budget session.

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Accusing Modi of dragging political debate to a “new low”, members from Congress, CPM and JDU also joined hands to slam the PM for not agreeing to reply to clarifications by JD(U) member Sharad Yadav.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury read a notice given by him under Rule 267, saying that the PM “refused to answer the basic questions raised in the debate on the Motion of Thanks”. He accused the government of not agreeing to give clarifications even after the Chair had allowed Sharad Yadav to speak. Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, however, declined to entertain the issue.

Deputy Leader of Congress in the Upper House Anand Sharma accused Modi of having “insulted” the memory of former PM Indira Gandhi by referring to a “book written by an Executive Assistant.”

Modi had on Wednesday referred to former bureaucrat Madhav Godbole’s book in which he has written how then finance minister Y B Chavan had recommended demonetisation to curb ill-gotten wealth. “Godbole says in the book that Indira Gandhi replied saying ‘are no more elections to be fought by the Congress?’” Modi had said.

In Lok Sabha, Congress members led by party president Sonia Gandhi staged a walkout in protest against Modi’s raincoat remark.

“I have learnt from today’s newspaper reports that the PM has made derogatory remarks against the former PM. He should apologise,” Kharge said even as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked him not to raise the matter.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar intervened, saying the Congress should not be allowed to raise something that occurred in the Rajya Sabha. As Mahajan let Zero Hour continue, Congress MPs staged a walkout.

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