RS adjourns thrice over Lalit Modi, Vyapam issues

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New Delhi, July 22: Rajya Sabha was today adjourned thrice in the pre-noon session after uproar over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam admission and recruitment scam in Madhya Pradesh.

As soon as obituary references were made, several opposition parties, including the Congress, BSP and the Left, insisted that no debate was possible without the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje following their alleged involvement in the controversy over former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. They also raised the issue of Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh.

The ruling BJP members wanted a discussion on the Lalit Modi issue to be initiated immediately saying they did not want the opposition members to speak on the adjournment motion they had moved on these issues.

Amidst slogan shouting by the opposition members and heated exchanges between them and those from treasury benches including by ministers, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien first adjourned the House for 15 minutes and then again till noon.

At noon when the Question Hour was taken up by Chairman Hamid Ansari, the opposition members continued the uproar forcing the third adjournment of the House.

Earlier, Finance Minister and Leader of the House Arun Jaitley defended Swaraj asking opposition to point out one provision of the law which she has violated in allegedly trying to help former IPL commissioner.

Mayawati (BSP) attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the episode had exposed those who had claimed that "na khaoonga, na khane doonga".

Soon after the obituary reference, Satish Chandra Misra (BSP), Naresh Agarwal (SP), Tapan Kumar Sen (CPI-M) and D Raja (CPI) said they had given notices under rule 267 to suspend business to take up discussion on Lalitgate and Vyapam scams.

Jaitley said the Vyapam issue was "squarely a state issue" and if the Opposition wanted to change rule to "discuss state issues and set up new precedents", then issues ranging from Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Goa should also be discussed. "So we will be fair to all states," he said.

"If they want to discuss the issue relating to Sushma Swaraj, please start the discussion right now," he said.

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