Lok Sabha adjourned thrice over Maharashtra violence


New Delhi : The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the third time Monday when members from north Indian states had a verbal duel with union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on the issue of violence against north Indians in Maharashtra in February.

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When the house met again at 2 p.m. after two adjournments, MPs Prabhunath Singh and Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) raised the issue of violence against north Indians in Maharashtra. Shahnawaz Hussain of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) joined them.

The MPs were raising the issue of violence in Maharashtra. In February, members of Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) took to the streets and attacked north Indians working in Mumbai. One person died and several others were injured in the vandalism that continued for a few days before the Maharashtra government could control it.

The three MPs wanted Home Minister Shivraj Patil to give an explanation on the violence. In response, Patil said that since he was not in the house earlier he wanted some time to reply. At this, the three MPs raised their voices to express their ire.

Patil lost his cool and tried to answer back. However, his words were not audible in the din.

The MPs said Patil was threatening them to keep quiet and drop the issue.

When the situation got out of hand, Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, who was in the chair, adjourned the house for 10 minutes.

When the house met again, Atwal said that a consensus had been reached that Patil will reply to these questions Tuesday.

Patil said he was prepared to answer anytime the house wanted him to. The house then moved on to other issues.

Earlier in the day, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee adjourned the house twice over this issue.