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Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) A Congress member's disparaging references to the Gujarat Chief Minister in the Upper House today drew loud protests from the Opposition benches forcing the Chair to expunge the remarks.

Initiating the short duration discussion on communal violence in Vadodara and other parts of the country, Prof Alka Balram Kshatriya, Congress MP from Gujarat, said that it was a matter of shame that communal riots had become synonymous with her state following the recent riots in Vadodara so soon after the Godhra riots.

As uproar greeted her remarks, the Chair had to request the Opposition members to let her speak.

The member directed her ire at the local administration of Vadodara, saying that the trouble which had initially erupted as a fight between the administration and a section of the citizens soon took a communal turn and ended as one between the two major communities.

Defending the state administration, BJP member from Gujarat Vijay Kumar Rupani countered by pointing out that of the 3,300 illegal encroachments sought to be removed, only six belonged to the minority community.

Iterating that Gujarat was number one on the development and industrial fronts, the member, making his maiden speech, said the Gujarat government had brought about large-scale development including 24-hour electricity supply in the villages and set up one lakh check dams under the "Sujalam Sufalam" programme.

Earlier, the Chair's directive to Prof Kshatriya to give the floor to Heavy Industry Minister Sontosh Mohan Dev to make a statement regarding status of implementation of the recommendations in the 169th Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee had CPI (M) member Brinda Karat on her feet against the lapse in Parliamentary procedure.

The Chair conceded when Ms Karat siding with the BJP members allowed the discussion to resume.

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