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Advani issue: Govt criticises Opposition

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) The Government today strongly condemned the manner in which Opposition disrupted proceedings in Parliament, particularly the Lok Sabha during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's reply to the Motion of Thanks on the President's address, saying their protest over the alleged interference by the PMO in the working of CBI was ''unfounded and baselss.'' Addressing newspersons, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi asserted that seeking information by the Government in the light of serious observations by a High Court in the Babri Masjid case "can by no stretch of imagination be construed as interference into its investigations of cases".

''But what the BJP did in the House today was totally uncalled for and condemnable.'' The slogan-shouting BJP members had not not only disregarded all the rules of the House but even shown no courtesy towards the Prime Minister who was responding to the Motion of Thanks on President's Address, he said.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said in fact the Prime Minister was to reply on the debate yesterday. But he had agreed to do so today at the request of the Deputy Leader of the BJP on behalf of Mr Advani., The request was accepted following assurance from the BJP that the leader of the Opposition L K Advani would be present in the House today and the party would not either raise any issue, seek suspension of Question Hour, or disrupt proceedings.

"But Mr Advani did not turn up today and the PM had to make his reply. Their (BJP's) attitude is very objectionable," he said.

more UNI KAS /YJ PA KP1816

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