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Parliament opens on stormy note, disruption looms large


New Delhi, July 21: The monsoon session of Parliament opened on a stormy note with prospects of continued disruption looming large on the demand for the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as BJP chief ministers in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh even as proceedings in the Rajya Sabha were washed out.

The Upper House was the theatre of confrontation as it witnessed repeated adjournments with Congress members trooping into the well of the House to press the resignation demand.

Parliament opens on stormy note

It was supported by parties like CPI(M) and surprisingly Samajwadi Party, one of whose leaders had earlier dismissed the Congress campaign against Swaraj. Outside Parliament, BSP leader Mayawati also joined the chorus for the resignation of Swaraj.

TMC leader Mamata Banerjee also launched an attack on BJP saying it was "corrupt and communal" and her party would not bow before it.

Even as a storm was in the offing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed the hope that the session would be fruitful and that promises made by some parties during the last session to allow work on priority will be kept.

However, his appeal was ignored with Congress going for broke placing its demand and rushing to the well of the house to force repeated adjournments.

In between adjournments, Finance Minister and Leader of the House Arun Jaitley made an offer that a debate can start straightaway with Swaraj's statement or a reply at the end of the discussion.

But the Congress and other opposition parties, including the Left, rejected the bait saying "no resignation, no debate". CPI(M) leader used an argument put forward by Jaitley when he was in the Opposition that "a discussion cannot be a substitute for an investigation. We want investigation."

Congress leader Anand Sharma questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the controversies, while pointing out that he had promised to ensure transparency, accountability in governance and acting against those indulging in corrupt practices.


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