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Oppn storms House accusing Congress of meddling in probe

Oppn storms House accusing Congress of meddling in probe
The government’s alleged interference in preparing the CBI report on the allocation of coal blocks led to an uproar in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, as it debated rules for taking up a motion for adjournment of the ‘Question Hour’ to discuss the issue. The Upper House saw three adjournments before lunch time, with the government agreeing to discuss the matter, but Opposition remained adamant on calling the law minister in the House and seeking suo motu statements from both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and law minister Ashwani Kumar on the subject.

The motion was moved by V Maitreyan of the AIADMK on suspension of Question Hour for a discussion on the role of CBI in the alleged coal scam, ‘Summon the law minister to the bar of the House, ask Prime Minister to clarify the role of the PMO. They should be asked to appear before the House, bring Law Minister to the bar of the House, he is the bone of contention,’ said Maitreyan.

Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari had earlier admitted Maitreyan’s notice for moving the motion and had put the motion to voice vote, but no division of votes could take place amid the clamour.

The motion was later rendered as infructuous by deputy chairman P J Kurien, saying the matter ended at 12 noon with the Question Hour. ‘That motion has become infructuous because Question Hour is over. Whether it was voted or not voted, that issue has become infructuous at 12 O’Clock,’ said Kurien.

The principal opposition party also pressured the government by demanding resignation of the law minister over allegations of interference in the CBI’s probe into coal blocks allocation issue and also said that the government should make a suo motu statement on the matter if it has nothing to hide. ‘The government says it has nothing to hide. Let them tell us so far what is hidden. Let them come out with a suo motu statement on the law minister’s role at 2 PM. We will then ask clarifications and then we will take up the discussion on atrocities on women,’ said leader of opposition, Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley. The government, however, rejected Opposition’s demand for resignation of law minister and said that the CBI had made it clear that it had not been pressurised.
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