The Rajya Sabha was Tuesday adjourned sine die without taking up important listed business due to protests by DMK members to a bill. The BJP, however, charged the government with manipulating the chaos to avoid explaining Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s alleged involvement in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
The upper house’s business listed for the day included a debate on the working of the aviation ministry, a statement from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the Aircel-Maxis deal, and a couple of other legislations for passing.
However, as soon as Law Minister Salman Khurshid post lunch introduced the bill to repeal the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act, DMK members rose in protest and trooped near the chairman’s podium.
The bill seeks repealing the state act, thereby abolishing the upper house in the state. The Tamil Nadu government had, in 1986, moved a resolution for the dissolution of the legislative council, which was later approved by central government as well. However, the DMK government revived the state council in 2010.
The AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu has now once again passed a resolution to dissolve the state upper house, which now needs to be passed by parliament.
Amidst the protests, the upper house was first adjourned for 10 minutes and then till 4.30 p.m. At 4.30 p.m., the upper house was adjourned sine die.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that it was a deliberate attempt by the government to avoid a clarification in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
“The government allies went for a virtual mutiny. It was a contrived stalling of the house, a conspiracy so that important issues are not taken up,” party spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
“The country will remain aghast that the details that the nation wanted were not given,” he said.
Allegations have been made that Chidambaram’s son Karthi Chidambaram’s company received money from Aircel on the eve of the FIPB’s approval.
A senior BJP leader said later that the government was aware of Chidambaram’s culpability so it did not want to give a clarification on the issue.