New Delhi, Nov 29: Speaker Somnath Chatterejee today ordered switching off of live telecast of Lok Sabha proceedings briefly and then adjourned the House for half an hour when members from Tamil Nadu, joined by the BJP, insisted on a statement by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the plight of ethnic Indians in Malaysia.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, S K Kharventhan (Cong) sought to know what the Government could do to end the plight of 1.5 million ethnic Indians, 85 per cent of whom were Tamilians, in Malaysia and referred to the incident in Kuala Lumpur where they were recently baton and tear gas charged and subjected to chemical-laced water canons.
After allowing BJP members, including their deputy leader V K Malhotra, and Dr C Krishnan (MDMK) to associate with it, the Speaker, however, did not allow them to elucidate on the issue.
Amid commotion, when a member sought a statement on the issue by Mr Mukherjee, who was present, the Speaker quipped, "It is entirely for him (to make or not make a statement) I am not going to direct him." When the din continued in the House, Mr Chatterjee, who had earlier ordered that nothing objectionable would be recorded as Malaysia was a friendly country, directed that live telecast of the proceedings be switched off and subsequently adjourned the House.