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Rajya Sabha adjourned till 1200 hrs on Advani issue

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 1200 hrs today following pandemonium in the House with the Opposition stalling question hour and demanding immediate discussion on the government's alleged letter to the CBI asking why an appeal was not filed against BJP leader L K Advani's discharge in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Soon after nominated member Shyam Benegal took oath in the House, Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh said they had given notice for suspension of the question hour so that the debate could be held on the newspaper report about the alleged letter to CBI which exposed the ''double standards of the UPA government''.

He said the UPA which had questioned the CBI on Mr Advani's discharge, had not taken any action on the defreezing of the London bank accounts of Bofors accused Ottavio Quattrocchi.

Mr Singh said Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement that no interference would be made in the working of the CBI has been proven incorrect. He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's stand that he did not know what happened was also a matter of serious concern.

The Opposition members trooped into the well of the House shouting slogans demanding that BJP leader Arun Jaitley be allowed to speak on the legal angle of the case.

Amid slogans like ''Italy Mafia nahin chalega (Italian mafia will not be allowed)'' they persisted with their demand for immediate discussion on the matter.

However, Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat said the demand of the Opposition was not justified and he would not allow any debate before the Prime Minister's statement on the issue.

He said the House had heard what the Opposition had to say, so it should now hear the ruling party, only then a debate could take place on the issue.

''Before hearing the PM's statement, demand for a debate is not justified,'' he said.

Since the Opposition stood their ground and continued with slogan shouting, the Chairman adjourned the House till 1200 hrs.

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