The Rajya Sabha witnessed uproarious scenes on Tuesday with the BJP demanding that the Centre withdraw the affidavit in court on plans to go ahead with the Sethusamudram project alignment that will cut across the Rama Sethu, leading to the adjournment of the House. During zero hour, BJP Upper House member Prakash Javadekar raised the matter, asking the government to withdraw the affidavit. Javadekar accused the government of not being concerned about public and religious sentiments as also of preserving heritage, and demanded withdrawal of the affidavit.
BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad said India can’t exist without Rama and Rama Sethu and the issue was not just of India’s heritage but also of public sentiment and demanded a response from the government.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Shukla said, “You can’t force me to speak on the issue... the matter is sub-judice and it would not be proper for the government to make any comment on the floor of the House.” He accused the BJP of politicising the issue, which led to BJP members trooping into the Well, shouting slogans of “affidavit wapas lo, wapas lo” (withdraw the affidavit).
While DMK’s Tiruchy Siva supported the government, V Maitreyan of the AIADMK demanded that the State’s views be heard first before deciding on the issue and said the report of the expert committee should have been accepted by the government. With the House in uproar, E M Sudarsana Natchiappan, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House until 2 pm. (With PTI inputs)