Raja’s ‘lobbying’ for cabinet berth disrupts Rajya Sabha

Posted by on May 6th, 2010 and filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) A media report suggesting that Communications Minister A. Raja had lobbied with a power broker for a cabinet berth rocked the Rajya Sabha Thursday, forcing a brief adjournment of the house and prompting Chairman Hamid Ansari to deprecate the ‘disgraceful’ behaviour of AIADMK members who raised the issue.

AIADMK members led by V. Maitreyan and K. Malaisami raised the issue as soon as the house assembled, evoking a sharp response from Ansari for waving a tabloid and a CD.

‘Please don’t show newspapers. This is not done. Please go back to your seats,’ Ansari said. But the AIADMK members continued to stand just short of the speaker’s podium and shout slogans demanding an explanation from the government.

‘Please don’t do this. There shall be no slogan shouting,’ Ansari said. But with his appeal falling on deaf ears, he adjourned the house at 11.02 a.m. — for 10 minutes.

As Ansari left the chamber, Maitreyan, accompanied by S.S. Ahluwalia (Bharatiya Janata Party), D. Raja (Communist Party of India), Brajesh Pathak (Bahujan Samaj Party) and others went up to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apparently explain the reasons for their protest.

The ruckus continued when the house reassembled, prompting Ansari to remark: ‘Extraneous matters will not be permitted. This is irresponsible behaviour. You are shouting in vain. You are making a spectacle of yourselves.’

Ansari even threatened to name the protesting MPs under rule 255 that would render them liable for disciplinary action.

The AIADMK members then abruptly turned around and walked out of the house.

‘This is disgraceful,’ an exasperated Ansari said, as he called the first question of the day.

A tabloid Thursday reported that Raja ‘may have lobbied with an influential power broker’ to secure his cabinet post in the Congress-led government. The tabloid said the report was based on recorded telephonic conversations between Raja and the corporate lobbyist.

Raja has been in the eye of a storm over the alleged 2G spectrum allocation scam ever since the budget session of parliament resumed April 15, the issue forcing repeated adjournments of both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

Raja, while not directly addressing the charges, has attempted to deflect the issue by pointing to the ‘transparent’ manner in which the ongoing auction for 3G spectrum is being conducted.

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