2G spectrum, foreign university bill stall Lok Sabha


New Delhi : The Lok Sabha was adjourned twice Monday as opposition members disrupted the proceedings over the allocation of 2G telecom spectrum, the demand for a caste-based census and the introduction of the foreign university bill.

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When the house assembled for question hour, members of the AIADMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Samajwadi Party (SP) walked towards the speaker’s podium, raising slogans and brandishing copies of a national newspaper that carried reports of alleged financial irregularities on the part of Communications and IT Minister A. Raja over the 2G spectrum allocation.

Speaker Meira Kumar tried to conduct the proceedings amidst the din but failed and adjourned the house till noon.

When the Lok Sabha re-assembled, members of the AIADMK, RJD, SP and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) again marched towards the speaker’s podium over the 2G spectrum row.

AIADMK MPs demanded that Raja, who belongs to DMK, step down over the allegations.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) MPs supported the AIADMK’s demand but did not join the protests.

The spectrum scam created a furore in parliament after a newspaper report on the tapping of phone conversations between a high-profile lobbyist and public relations firm owner and Minister Raja alleged wrongdoing in the allocation of 2G spectrum.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD leader Lalu Prasad, meanwhile, led their MPs in separate protest to demand a caste-based census.

Both had raised the issue in the house Friday. They said the national census should be held on the basis of caste to ascertain the number of people belonging to backward classes.

Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad alleged that there was a “huge conspiracy” in the way the current national census was being carried out.

The Left and JD-U MPs added to the chaos in the house as they opposed the introduction of the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010. Amidst the ruckus, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal introduced the bill, which proposes to allow foreign education providers set up campuses in India and offer degrees.

As the ruckus continued, Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the house till 2 p.m.