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PM went against Parliament motion by receiving Bush: Members

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 2: Demanding an apology from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for welcoming US President George W Bush, SP, Left, TDP and DMK members in both Houses of Parliament today lodged strong protests against his visit, saying receiving ''a person condemned by Parliament'' was an ''affront to the nation''.

Demanding suspension of the Question Hour to discuss the matter, they disrupted proceedings, forcing adjournment of Lok Sabha till 1400 hrs and Rajya Sabha till 1200 hrs.

As soon as both the Houses assembled, the members were on their feet shouting slogans, ''Go Back Bush'', ''UPA government hosh me aao Bharat ka samman bachao'' (UPA Government, come to your senses and save the honour of the country).

They sought to remind the government that Parliament had already passed censure motion against the US attack on Iraq and its continued occupation of the country, and Dr Singh has been a party to the motion against the Bush Government, when he was the leader of the opposition.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, senior Samajwadi Party leader Janeshwar Mishra and Left leader Nilotpal Basu said that in view of Parliament resolution passed by consensus, presence of President Bush in the country was an ''affront to the House'', and Dr Singh had defied all protocol of the House by reaching the airport to welcome him.

It was a clear case of compromising with the dignity of the House by the Prime Minister, they said.

Replying to the members' protests, deputy leader of the Congress Party in the House, Suresh Pachauri said their stand was against the age-old tradtions of the country to welcome all guests. ''US Presidents have always been warmly received here by all parties. Only last month Presient Clinton was accorded a warm welcome by the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Praesh, which also held dialogues with Israeli representatives,'' he shot back to the protesting SP members.

In the Lok Sabha, the slogan shouting Samajwadi Party members, donning red caps, trooped into the well as soon as the House assembled. They were soon joined by the Left MPs. Sensing the mood of the House, Deputy Speaker Charnjit Singh Atwal adjourned it till 1400 hrs.

In the Rajya Sabha also, the SP MPs, donning red caps, started shouting anti-Bush slogans as soon as the House assembled and demanded suspension of the Question Hour. The Left and TDP members also joined them. Members from the treasury benches too stood up countering the demand. When Deputy Chairman K Rehman Khan saw that his repeated appeals for maintaining calm fell on deaf ears, he adjourned the House till 1200 hrs.

The protesting members were absent when the House reassembled at 1200 hrs.


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