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Both houses of Parliament adjourned on disqualification issue

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 22 (UNI) Both houses of Parliament were adjourned till 1300 hrs after irate Opposition members rushed into the well of the houses, protesting against the Centre's move to protect UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders facing disqualification from Parliament for holding offices of profit.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition members also demanded removal of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, for accepting donations from Congress leaders for a NGO he runs.

The central government yesterday reportedly finalised the draft of an ordinance seeking to amend Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 to exempt a fresh batches of offices, including the chairpersons of the National Advisory Council, Indian Council of Cultural Relations and heads of the state development boards and textile boards from being deemed 'offices of profit.' Slogan-shouting Samajwadi Party members, supported by BJP and DMK MPs, waving photocopies of newspaper reports in this regard, said that the ordinance was being brought by the centre to protect Ms Sonia Gandhi, who is the NAC chairperson.

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee first adjourned the house for 15 minutes and then till 1300 hrs as the agitating members would not be pacified while Rajya Sabha chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat initially adjourned the chamber for half an hour, and then till 1300 hours.

Opposition members demanded that either Ms Sonia Gandhi should also be disqualified or the disqualification of Ms Jaya Bachchan be quashed.

Rajya Sabha Member Ms Bachchan, the chairperson of the UP State Film Council, was disqualified on the ground of holding an office of profit in Uttar Pradesh.

The ordinance was being brought in as complaints against 44 MPs of both houses for holding offices of profits have reportedly been sent to the President A P J Abdul Kalam. A similar complaint against SP's Amar Singh is already said to be with the Election Commision.

UNI JSS/SU VD GC1148

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