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Opposition stalls question hour, drown out PM's reply

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) The Lok Sabha today approved the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address amid pandemonium caused by the slogan-shouting Opposition which was agitated over the reported interference by the Prime Minister's Office in the functioning of the CBI in a Babri Masjid demolition case against Mr L K Advani.

The Opposition members also drowned out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 35-minute reply to the debate on the motion as they stood in the well, raising slogans demanding the resignation of Dr Singh.

After the House adopted the motion at 1235 hrs, Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal adjourned the House till 1400 hrs.

Earlier, the Opposition had stalled the question hour, forcing two adjournments.

When the House assembled for the day at 1100 hrs, the Opposition raised an uproar, waving copies of a media report which said the PMO had asked CBI in writing why no action had been taken against Mr Advani in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

The irate members were on their feet shouting slogans: ''Pradhan mantri istifa do...Sonia Gandhi murdabad (Prime Minister must resign...down with Sonia Gandhi)''.

As Opposition members refused to calm down depite repeated appeals, Mr Atwal adjourned the House first till 1130 hrs and for a second time till 1200 hrs.

The report said the UPA government had sent a letter to the then CBI director U S Mishra asking why no appeal had been made challenging the discharge of Mr Advani in a case relating to making inflammatory speeches leading to the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

The Opposition contended that the government had on one hand directed the CBI to exonerate Italian fugitive businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi and had chosen to implicate Mr Advani on the other.


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