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Rajya Sabha adjourned till noon following Opposition-BJP spat

Heated exchanges between treasury benches and the Congress today forced adjournment of the Rajya Sabha till noon as the opposition stuck to its demand for the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje for allegedly supporting controversial IPL head Lalit Modi.

The BJP and Congress members clashed after Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad blamed the ruling party for being a stumbling block in the functioning of Parliament.

As the treasury benches led by union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal protested and blamed opposition for the stalemate, Congress members too angrily reacted by moving into aisles and shouting slogans.

Sensing trouble, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourned the House till 1200 hours.

Earlier, soon after papers were laid on the table, Pramod Tiwari (Cong) rose to say he had given notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business to discuss alleged corruption in Rajasthan and Swaraj for allegedly trying to help “fugitive” Modi.

He sought to know if the government has decided that both the leaders, who are “in the dock”, will resign, provoking the ruling party members who attacked Tiwari and demanded that a discussion be immediately taken up.

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said it was “unprecedented” that the ruling party today sat on a dharna. “Ruling party world over have not sat on dharna … Who are they asking (for help)? Is it the almighty,” he said mockingly.

All through, the ruling side continued to shout back at the opposition leaders, prompting Kurien to remark “Why is treasury benches creating problem?”

Following this, Azad said “it is the ruling party which has become stumbling block (in funtioning of House).”

BJP members protested this remark and were promptly countered by the opposition members. Amidst the ruckus, Kurien adjourned the House.

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