The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 p.m. on Thursday after Congress leaders asked the BJP to come clear on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh and the saffron party’s smear campaign against the UPA in the 2G spectrum case.
A Delhi court on Thursday acquitted 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 there were claims it caused the state exchequer a loss of Rs 1,76,379 crore.
Soon after the 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,” Azad said.
“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 as questions related to the Prime Minister’s Office are listed.
The Chairman asked Azad to stop as he had not given any prior notice over the issue but he continued.
“You can’t raise any issue without giving a proper notice. I can’t go beyond the rules. House functions according to rules. If there is something serious the House will take it as priority,” Naidu said as the agitating members trooped near Chairman’s podium.
The Congress also raised the 2G verdict, saying the court judgment vindicated the UPA’s stand that there was no scam in the allocation of spectrum and licences to telecom companies.
Naidu asked the agitating members to maintain the dignity of the House and to respect the democratic principles.
“Follow ‘maryada’ (tradition)… Follow the rules… I condemn your behaviour… Go back to your seats,” Naidu remarked.
“This has become habit of few people. The 3/4 the of the House want discussion but there are few who don’t want. This is not fair. You want to disturb the house by making allegations. There should be discussion rather than shouting,” Naidu said quoting one of the remarks of the former President and former Rajya Sabha Chairman Shankar Dayal Sharma.
Despite several requests, Naidu adjourned 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 report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).