Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Parliament adjourned amid protests

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives on the first day of the winter session of the parliament in New Delhi (AP)
Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram was subject to opposition party protests in parliament

India's Parliament opened its winter session on Tuesday - and then quickly adjourned amid renewed protests by politicians angry about everything from corruption to soaring inflation.

The 21-day session was scheduled to debate a Bill creating a government ombudsman which was a key demand of anti-corruption protests over the summer. It was also expected to deal with bills on education, pensions and judicial standards.

However, soon after the session was convened, politicians jumped to their feet and began shouting protests.

Some ruling-party politicians from the south called for the split of the current state of Andhra Pradesh. Opposition politicians railed against rising prices.

When Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram rose to address the lower chamber, the opposition exploded in protests and refused to listen to him because of his alleged role in the dubious sale of mobile phone spectrum when he was finance minister.

Both chambers of the house were quickly adjourned for the day.

"This is a form of legitimate parliamentary tactics that we are going to resort to," said Arun Jaitley, a leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

Parliament lost almost all of last year's winter session to opposition protests against corruption and government officials appealed to their colleagues to stop obstructing the legislature and allow important Bills to be debated and passed.

"There is work to do and we must proceed with the work," Law Minister Salman Kurshid told Times Now news channel.

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