NEW DELHI: The Opposition Congress created a ruckus in the Rajya Sabha alleging that the Railway Budget had been leaked and published in a newspaper, forcing two adjournments during Question Hour on Wednesday.
As soon as the Question Hour began, the Congress members were on their feet waving copies of newspaper reports, which they alleged had published excerpts of the Rail Budget speech a day earlier.
The Congress’ Madhusudan Mistry and Satyavrat Chaturvedi demanded that Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda should come to the House to answer the charge.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari repeatedly asked the Congress members not to display the paper clippings, but to no avail.
In between, the Trinamool Congress members also contributed to the din by trying to raise the matter of their woman MP being allegedly abused by a BJP MP in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Ansari first adjourned the House for 15 minutes, but as the Congress members refused to back down, he was forced to suspend the Question Hour. But, when the House reassembled again, the Congress members again took up the matter. Chaturvedi said that the Chair should at least hear the contents of the Privilege Notice the Congress had submitted. But Deputy Chairman P J Kurien refused to heed the Congress members. “Because this is a matter which you raised before the Chairman and the Chairman said that he would consider that or examine that, whatever may be the wording, I cannot give a ruling on that,” he said.
When Kurien pointed out that it would be a waste of time to listen to the contents of the Privilege Notice when he cannot give a ruling on it, the SP and the CPM members said that there was no such bar in the law books.
However, AIADMK member V Maitreyan pointed out that when he had given a notice of Breach of Privilege, he had also been prevented from speaking.
“I would like to know the precedent. During the period of the UPA Government, we gave a notice for Breach of Privilege. But we were never allowed to speak on that. I want a ruling on that also,” he said.