With a session of Parliament on in the National Capital, a corruption scandal can never too far away. While the initial part of the Budget Session saw much political posturing over Rohith Vemula's suicide and the police action on JNU students, both Houses of Parliament saw chaos over allegations of financial misdemeanor against Karti Chidambaram.
Both the Lok Sabha speaker and the Rajya Sabha PJ Kurien repeatedly expressed their dismay over the disruptions in the proceedings, with the latter going to the extent of saying that it was a 'murder of democracy.' However, as the protests continued on Wednesday, Kurien's outburst appears to have had no effect.
For the second day in a row, AIADMK MP's have raised slogans of 'we want justice' while waving a report from the Pioneer on allegations against Karti Chidambaram, the son of former home minister P Chidambaram. The newspaper has alleged that Karti has 'built a huge empire' by making investments in real estate across the world, as revealed in a joint raid of the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department. It was interesting that the AIADMK MPs cited the newspaper Pioneer, known to be a mouthpiece of the BJP, while making their charges against the Congress. Not surprisingly, the Congress questioned whether the AIADMK was discreetly helping the BJP.
Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said: "This is a deliberate attempt on the part of the AIADMK so that we don't discuss the privilege motion (against HRD minister Smriti Irani)." The AIADMK's protests also assume significance in view of the elections to be held in Tamil Nadu to be held later this year.
However, the AIADMK was not the only party which launched an attack on Chidambaram's son. On Tuesday, the Odisha-based Biju Janata Dal (BJD), also submitted two notices in the Lok Sabha over the alleged Aircel-Maxis scam, according to a report in The Indian Express. Apart from Karti Chidambaram, a leader from the Congress' UPA ally DMK, Dayanidhi Maran, is also being investigated for his role in the alleged Aircel-Maxis scam.
Later in the day, P Chidambaram also faced allegations over his role in the Ishrat Jahan encounter. After the ruckus in Parliament, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad held a press conference accusing him of changing an affidavit related to the case, as per a report in Business Standard.
The first of the two affidavits filed by the home ministry in 2009 had stated that Ishrat was a woman activist of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, while the second one said that 'media reports do not constitute intelligence inputs and intelligence inputs do not constitute conclusive proof,' as per a report by NDTV. While the first affidavit stated that it was not a fit case for a CBI probe, the subsequent statement said that the ministry did not have any objection to the CBI probe.
Facing the political heat on multiple issues, the Congress too has launched a counter attack on the BJP. In the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Congress members referred to a newspaper report which said Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel's daughter's partner was given land at around 92 percent concessional rate.
As per a report, business associates of Gujarat chief minister's daughter Anar Patel got 422 acres of land in 2010 from the state government at Rs.15 per square metre — a huge 91.6 percent discount on the government's stamp duty rate of Rs 180 per square metre.
As corruption allegations fly thick and fast, the ongoing Parliament session may well be held hostage to political point-scoring, rather than being allowed to conduct legislative business.
With inputs from IANS
First Published On : Mar 2, 2016 15:27 IST