BJP force RS adjournment over Baalu issue

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{image-Lok sabha1_25042008.jpg}New Delhi, Apr 25: Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members today created a ruckus in the Rajya Sabha over the alleged misuse of position by Shipping and Transport Minister T R Baalu to benefit companies associated with his family, forcing adjournment of the House for 20 minutes.

As soon as the Zero Hour began at 1200 hrs and Home Minister Shivraj Patil was asked by Prof P J Kurien, who was in the Chair, to make a statement on Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP rose up waiving some documents and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clarify the government's position on ths issue. Mr Baalu had admitted that he used his position to ask GAIL to provide gas to companies in which his family had stakes.

Prof Kurien asked him to resume his seat and let the Home Minister make his statement, but Mr Prasad peristed with his demand.

The BJP member was soon joined by other colleagues from his party, including Ms Sushma Swaraj and Arun Shourie, who urged the Chair to allow the issue to be raised as the whole house was agitated over it.

Mr Gopaldas of the BJP, who was asked by the chair to make his scheduled statement, refused to do so, saying that the issue which his party members were trying to raise was more important than his statement. The BJP members kept on shouting, but the Chair said their words would not go on record.

The Home Minister could not read out his statement in the din created by the BJP members. Finally, Mr Kurien announced adjournment of the House till 1230 hrs.

Earlier, the BJP members had registered their protest as the House assembled for the day in the morning by placing a finger on their lips to show they were not participating in the Question Hour.

They broke their silence as soon as the Zero Hour began.


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