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POLITICS 2.12.2014

Sadhvi controversy ate a day's session

Controversial remarks by
Union Minister Sadhvi
Niranjan Jyoti on Tuesday
rocked Parliament with
the Rajya Sabha being
paralysed for the day as a
united opposition insisted
on her sacking despite her
apology.
“A mere apology will not
suffice. She will have to
resign,” was the refrain of
the opposition members
who stormed into the
Well demanding her
sacking.
Soon after both the Lok
Sabha and the Rajya
Sabha met for the day,
opposition members
created uproar over Jyoti
allegedly making
communal remarks and
using an expletive in an
election rally in New Delhi
and demanded that she
should be sacked. They
also sought an apology
from Prime Minister
Narendra Modi.
Members of Congress,
Trinamool Congress,
Samajwadi Party and
other opposition parties
rushed to the Well leading
to repeated adjournments
in Rajya Sabha and Lok
Sabha during pre-lunch
sitting.
When Rajya Sabha
reassembled at 2 pm after
four adjournments,
Communist Party of India-
Marxist leader Sitaram
Yechury cited a Supreme
Court as well as a Calcutta
high court order to drive
home the point that mere
apology was not enough
and an FIR should be filed
against her and she
should be sacked.
Yechury’s argument got
instant support from TMC,
Congress, SP, Janata Dal-
United and Left parties.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi
disapproved of the
controversial remarks,
saying such comments
were ‘not acceptable’ and
asked party members of
Parliament to refrain from
those that gave a bad
name to the government
and the party.
Sources said the prime
minister, while addressing
the Bharatiya Janata Party
Parliamentary Party, told
the MPs to be cautious
while making public
comments and asked
them not to give any
‘address to the nation’.
Sources said the prime
minister did not name
anyone but later
conveyed to minister
concerned to regret the
remarks made by her at a
public rally in the national
capital.
Minister of State for
Parliamentary Affairs
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
sought to calm down the
opposition by contending
that Jyoti has already
apologised and the matter
should be put to rest in
keeping with tradition.
But the opposition
remained adamant as
Deputy Chairman P J
Kurien expressed his
inability saying the
remarks were made
outside the House.
With repeated pleas of
Kurien to bring order in
the House going
unheeded, he adjourned
the House for 10 minutes
– the fifth adjournment
since morning.
As the tempers ran high
when it reassembled, he
adjourned it for the day.
Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley said Jyoti’s remarks
were “improper and
unacceptable”.
He, however, said the
House cannot decide
whether her action was
criminal in nature and it
should be left for the
agencies outside the
House.
In her regrets, she said,
“My intention was not to
hurt anyone. If my speech
outside the House has
hurt anyone, I express my
deep regrets and accept.”
Opposition members
storm the well in Rajya
Sabha. Photograph: PTI
photo
Even this failed to satisfy
the agitated members as
they continued to create
an uproar demanding
apology from the prime
minister as well.
Seeking to mollify the
agitated members in Lok
Sabha, Parliamentary
Affairs Minister M Venkaiah
Naidu said it was a
“serious” matter and the
minister concerned
wanted to express regrets
in the House.
Leader of Congress in Lok
Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge
reminded Speaker Sumitra
Mahajan of the
adjournment notices
given by him and his
party colleagues over the
reported statement of the
minister as well as certain
remarks made by another
minister Giriraj Singh in
past.
The Speaker rejected the
notices saying though the
matter is of urgent
importance, the business
of the day cannot be
allowed to be disrupted.
She, however, suggested
that members can raise
the issue during Zero
Hour.
Kharge said the
“objectionable” language
used by Jyoti has created
tension at a time when
there have been
communal riots.
Several Congress and
Trinamool Congress
members rushed to the
Well shouting slogans.
In the Rajya Sabha,
agitated members from
Congress, Left, Samajwadi
Party, RJD and Bahujan
Samaj Party as many of
them said they were not
satisfied with an apology
and wanted her to resign
while a few also
demanded registration of
an FIR against her.
Sharad Yadav from the
Janata Dal-United said the
issue is not about one
minister and recalled that
another minister Giriraj
Singh had also some time
back had made
controversial comments.
Congress’s Anand Sharma
demanded Jyoti’s arrests,
while Yechury contended
that by


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