Another day was lost in the ‘coal war’ between the BJP and the Congress as both the Houses of Parliament failed to perform any duty on Tuesday.
As both the Congress and BJP were at their combative best, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were frequently adjourned.
Even the usually reserved Congress chief Sonia Gandhi showed signs of aggression as she led from the front by egging on her members in the Lok Sabha to counter the Opposition’s sloganeering on the coal allocation issue. Even before the Question Hour began, she was seen engaged in an animated conversation with leaders of key UPA allies — NCP chief Sharad Pawar and NC head Farooq Abdullah. She then spoke to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for a few minutes.
Sonia continued her pro-activeness during the Zero Hour too as when the BJP members trooped into the Well and shouted slogans against the Congress, Gandhi was seen directing Ambika Soni to counter the BJP. Though Soni tried her best to defend the party, her voice was drowned in the din.
Gandhi then asked other Congress members to stand up and take on the BJP. When some members from the Treasury Benches walked to the Well and had an exchange of words with BJP MPs, Gandhi restrained her party colleagues from entering the Well.
Pandemonium broke out as many members tried to outshout each other before proceedings resumed at noon and immediately the House was adjourned. When the Lok Sabha assembled again at 2 pm, the same scene continued as members of both the parties trooped into the Well. As they refused to heed to Speaker Meira Kumar’s repeated requests, she adjourned the House for the day.
Amidst this, Lalu Prasad (RJD) entered the House stating that the real reason for the BJP’s protest is that it does not want passage of crucial bills, including the one for reservation in promotions in government jobs for SC/STs. edit: P10, more: P11