On the offensive, Sonia forces Advani to backtrack on UPA 2 comment, LS adjourned

Sonia Gandhi

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government came under intense attack over the Assam violence from the main opposition party BJP and other parties as the monsoon session of Parliament began on Wednesday. Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani tore into the UPA-2 regime saying it had mishandled the situation in Assam.

Advani said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh needed to come out with some answers as he was a Rajya Sabha member from the state. However, it was Advani’s remark on the UPA government calling it “illegitimate” that created a massive uproar in the house with the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, seen losing her cool in the House.

Referring to cash-for-vote scam, Advani said that nothing like this had happened in the history of India where crores of rupees were spent to form the government.

Gandhi was seen gesticulating to her party MPs to react to Advani’s statement. It was the first time that the Congress chief was reacting so aggressively in the House.

With angry words being exchanged over Advani’s remark, the BJP veteran tried to pacify the treasury benches by withdrawing his words. Even the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, tried unsuccessfully giving clarification on Advani’s remark.

Reacting to Advani’s ‘illegitimate’ remark on the UPA in Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the comment made by LK Advani was disgraceful and unfortunate.

However, the war of words did not end there. Even after Advani was made to eat his words by the Congress chief, the two sides clashed.

That forced Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to adjourn the House till 2 pm.

Earlier, the issue of Assam violence created turmoil in the Lower House soon after the session started. Several opposition members stormed the Well.

Despite the speaker admitting an adjournment motion by the BJP, members including those of the biggest opposition party, Shiv Sena, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) trooped into the Well condemning the violence.

The opposition members were demanding an immediate discussion on the issue suspending the Question Hour. BPF member S. Bwiswamuthiary was seen protesting the dubbing of riots in Assam as ethnic violence. He contended that the violence was a result of illegal immigration from Bangladesh.

Maulana Badruddin Ajmal of the AIUDF was the lone member trying to make a point by standing in front of the treasury benches.

Congress members from Telangana region also waved placards and shouted slogans demanding a separate state.

As the speaker’s repeated appeals for bringing the House to order went in vain, she adjourned the proceedings till noon.

Later, Ajmal was seen raising some issue with the prime minister and the Congress chief.

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha was also adjourned till 2 pm on the issue of Assam violence and desecration of B.R. Ambedkar’s statues in Uttar Pradesh.

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