Reports of Walmart engaging lobbying firms to get entry into India and demand for quota in promotion in Government jobs rocked Parliament leading to washout of Question Hour in both the Houses.

In the Lok Sabha, as soon as Speaker Meira Kumar took up the Question Hour, members of BSP, Left parties and Trinamool Congress trooped into the Well raising slogans and demanding inquiry into reports of lobbying by Walmart and status of probe in the coal blocks allocation.

Suspension of Question Hour

BJP members were on their feet demanding that the Speaker suspend Question Hour and ask the Government to reply on the lobbying issue.

BSP members were in the Well raising slogans claiming that the Government was trying to brush under the carpet the alleged scam in allocation of coal blocks.

The uproar continued even as the Speaker made repeated appeals for allowing the Question Hour to continue. Her assurances of allowing members to raise the issues during Question Hour also failed to cut any ice with the agitating members.

As the din continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon.

In the Rajya Sabha, BJP members were up on their feet soon after Chairman Hamid Ansari made an obituary reference to former member G. Swaminathan.

Within minutes, BJP members raised the issue of reported lobbying by Walmart and SP members were objecting to the proposed move to provide reservations to SC/ST in promotion in government jobs.

When repeated efforts failed, Ansari said a situation has arisen where “the Chair has to watch helplessly” frequent disruption of Question Hour.

He said he proposed to call a meeting of the rules committee and suggest shifting the Question Hour or dispense with it all together.

Ansari then adjourned the House for 30 minutes. When the House reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed and the Chair adjourned it till noon.

Referring to the Walmmart disclosure report, senior BJP member M. Venkaiah Naidu said it was a “serious situation” and the entire country was concerned.

“I am concerned. I am agitated. The entire country is agitated,” he said, demanding the suspension of Question Hour to discuss the issue and get a response from the Government.

Naidu has given a notice to suspend the Question Hour.

Ansari said that the issue could be taken up at noon, but BJP members did not relent, with Naidu urging the Chair not to come between the Opposition and the Government.

To this, Ansari asked Naidu to refrain from making such remarks.

Members of Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and Left parties too were on their feet, but their issue could not be heard in the din.

(This article was published on December 11, 2012)
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