5 ministers defy PM, Singh says his ‘heart bleeds’

The Lok Sabha witnessed a never-before seen spectacle of four ministers trooping into the ‘Well’ of the House and disrupting presentation of the interim railway budget. The ministers from Seemandhra region were protesting against the move to bifurcate Andhra. ‘My heart bleeds to see what is happening in the House,’ the prime minister said later.

But even that anguish was not acceptable to another Seemandhra minister, Pallam Raju, cabinet minister for HRD, who argued that Singh’s comment was not ‘fair’. The ministers were expected to put up a ‘final battle’ against the bifurcation, said Raju, who did not move into the Well. The four ministers who did were KS Rao, D Purandeshwari, K Suryaprakash Reddy and Chiranjeevi, whose action led to an abrupt cutting short of the budget speech by railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge. He laid his speech on the table.

‘It is sad for democracy that such things are happening even after all appeals for calm,’ the prime minister said. Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath also condemned the incidents in Lok Sabha.

‘It is very unfortunate.... the obstruction and creating disturbances and all kinds of unruly scenes....This is a very bad precedent for the future Lok Sabhas,’ Nath told reporters outside Parliament House.

He said that the rules clearly state that the House belongs to every member and protecting its dignity is the duty of all sections.

‘....It doesn’t belong to a particular section. It is the duty of the government and all members to protect the dignity of the House and ensure that the House functions as per rules. Parliamentary democracy is to discuss, debate, oppose and dispose,’ the minister said.

Asked whether it was the government’s duty to do the floor management, Nath said, ‘It is not the duty of the government. It is (of) all the members of the House....The basic thing is that the House is not to be controlled by the government. The House is to be controlled by the Speaker and the members.’
Next Story
Share it