New Delhi: Under opposition fire for two days, the government today launched a counter-offensive, seeking to put BJP and the Left in the dock in Parliament over Coalgate.
BJP members, who have been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over CAG's findings on extending undue benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore on coal block allocations, rushed to the Well in both Houses renewing their demand.
Countering the opposition offensive, Congress members in the Lok Sabha were seen in the aisles waving copies of newspapers and raising slogans against the BJP. They displayed newspaper reports which said the BJP, in 2005, had told the Centre that auction of coal blocks will hit the industry.
The House plunged into turmoil as members of Opposition and Treasury benches clashed, with Congress members insisting that it was the BJP which had opposed auction of coal blocks and was blaming the Centre for it.
Interestingly, members of JD-U, a key constituent of the BJP-led NDA, did not join the BJP members in the Well. While the BJP has been on the offensive in demanding Singh's resignation, the JD-U has been pressing for a debate.
Speaker Meira Kumar had called for the Question Hour, but had to adjourn the House till noon amid the din. The Rajya Sabha witnessed ruckus the moment Chairman Hamid Ansari took up the first listed business.
As BJP-led NDA members shouted slogans demanding resignation of the Prime Minister, treasury benches countered them by shouting slogans hailing Singh. "Pradhan Mantri Istifa do (Prime Minister should resign)," shouted the opposition members.
In reply, the Congress members shouted "Pradhan Mantri Zindabad" and "UPA Sarkar Zindabad". Amidst the slanging match, Ansari called the first listed question and asked members to take their seat. "No slogan shouting please," he said. "Please sit down".
While Congress members briefly heeded to his pleas, they rose again as Opposition was unrelenting in slogan shouting. Ansari then adjourned the House till noon and called leaders of various political parties to his chamber for a discussion.
"I would request leaders of all political parties and groups to come to my chamber," he said.