Business in both Houses of Parliament came to a standstill on Wednesday after BJP demanded the resignation of Home Minister P Chidambaram over the police crackdown on party workers in the Capital on Tuesday.
The principal opposition party blamed the home minister for the incident and stalled proceedings, forcing frequent adjournments of the Lok Sabha, while the Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day in the morning itself. Party members shouted slogans seeking Chidambaram’s resignation and asking him to explain why police action was ordered.
BJP also turned down an offer by the Home Minister to read out a statement saying it was not prepared to hear the police version of the episode. “A statement by the police was not what we wanted. It would not have served the purpose,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters later.
BJP’s youth wing workers were demonstrating at Jantar Mantar demanding Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s resignation over the Comptroller and Auditor General report on financial irregularities in the conduct of the Commonwealth Games.
Besides raising the issue on the floor of Parliament, BJP’s parliamentary party leader LK Advani met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, complaining about the ‘atrocities’ on the BJYM workers and alleging that the action could not have been taken without orders from higher ups in the Home Ministry. He told Mukherjee that even handicapped activists were not spared by the police during the lathi-charge.
At a press conference later, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Jaitley lashed out at the Home Minister and demanded his ouster. “The Home Minster, under whom the Delhi law and order falls, should be removed. He will not step down himself, he is so arrogant.
We want the Prime Minister to remove him,” Swaraj said. She pointed out that there were three episodes of police action in a day – the one on BJYM workers, killing of farmers in a village near Pune and crackdown on ABVP workers in Lucknow. Chidambaram is not in charge of the law and order in Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh though.
“This government is corrupt and oppressive. When there are protests against corruption, the government gets oppressive,” she said. Refuting the police claim that no one was hurt, she said a polio-afflicted person was also hurt and nearly 24 people suffered fractures.
Asked if BJP would continue to stall the House persisting with its demand for Chidambaram’s resignation, she said “the strategy in the House is decided on a day to day basis. We will see tomorrow.” Economic Times