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Non-BJP Oppn Wants Parliament To Function

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In a near alienation of the BJP, other Opposition parties, including the Left and Samajwadi Party, came together on 30 August against continued stalling of Parliament, demanding normalcy and a probe into the coal block allocation issue by a sitting Supreme Court judge.

"Our party along with CPI, CPI(M) and TDP today decided to stage dharna in front of Parliament tomorrow (31 August) to demand an inquiry into the coal block allocation scam by a sitting Supreme Court judge," SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters in New Delhi.

"We are talking to other parties also. We want there should be a probe into it and guilty should be punished," he said after a meeting with CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia, CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta and TDP's Nama Nageshwar Rao.

On Prime Minister's statement on coal block allocation issue and the continued deadlock in Parliament, the SP chief said, "We want Parliament to function so that it can debate these important issues."

The meeting came in the backdrop of Parliament failing to transact any business for almost two weeks now, with the BJP continuing to create ruckus by pressing its demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.

Parliament Rocked For 7th Day
The issue of the CAG report on coal block allocation rocked Parliament for the seventh successive day with a determined BJP persisting with its demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation but the government pushed through two bills in the Lok Sabha.

Uproarious scenes were witnessed in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha after they assembled for the day, with BJP members storming the Well shouting slogans against the Prime Minister and the Congress.

In both Houses, members of NDA allies Shiv Sena and SAD were on their feet but they did not go into the Well while JD-U members remained seated.

The slogan shouting by the BJP was countered by Congress members, who hailed the Prime Minister.

In the Rajya Sabha, Congress member from Jharkhand Pradip Balmuchu led the charge shouting slogans against the BJP and taunting the Opposition party for boycotting Parliament.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day after the first adjournment with Speaker Meira Kumar taking up two legislations - Chemical Weapons Convention (Amendment) Bill, and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill.

In the din, the two bills were passed by voice vote without any discussion after Minister of State for Chemicals Srikant Jena and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad moved them.

CPI(M) Alleges Match-Fixing
Other Opposition parties like BJD and even NDA partners, JD(U) and Akali Dal, were also opposed to disruption of proceedings and have been demanding debate on the CAG report into the coal block allocation and other business.

Maintaining that disruption of the two Houses was a result of "match-fixing" by both BJP and Congress, CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia said, "the 'Coalgate' scam is a bigger scam than 2G scam. We want there should be a probe into it.

There should be discussion in the House."

"It is a match-fixing as Congress and BJP are together on the issue. Both do not want debate in the House," the CPI(M) leader said.

He said the CPI(M) has also been demanding a probe into it and punishing those found, besides cancellation of all "illegal allotments".

Observing that CAG was a constitutional body, Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) said its job was to keep a watch on the functioning of the government as per the Constitutional requirement.

"But what the Prime Minister has said against CAG is wrong and against the spirit of the Constitution. He should not have said so. PM does not have right to say anything against constitutional bodies like CAG, CVC or EC," he said referring to the Prime Minister's statement on the issue in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Dasgupta said, "It is more than match-fixing. Congress and BJP are made for each other. Our fight is against both.

They are not interested in discussing the grave economic situation in the country because of their policies are more or less same."

TDP leader Nama Nageswar Rao said, "We have raised the coal mining issue in Karnataka and Andhra before. We have raise the issue of mining mafia also.

These four leaders were hopeful that MPs of more parties would join them in their protest sit-in tomorrow and talks were on with them.

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have been witnessing unruly scenes since last week, with BJP members trooping into the Well and shouting slogans leading to adjournments. Today's was the seventh working day of Parliament which was disrupted.

The Prime Minister's statement on the coal allocation issue was listed for discussion in both houses of Parliament on 28 August.

(Agencies)