NEW DELHI -- There was uproar in the Parliament today after AIADMK members stalled proceedings in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, demanding action against former finance minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti. The ruckus in Parliament resulted in several forced adjournments through the day.
Karti Chidambaram has been at the eye of the Aircel-Maxis controversy ever since the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids in December 2015 in Chennai at the premises of firms allegedly connected to him.
The ED raids found that Karti, who owns Advantage Strategic Consulting, which was allegedly involved in the Aircel-Maxis deal for financial transactions with telecom beneficiaries, has built an empire for himself across the world, funnelling money into real estate and business investments in India and abroad. Karti later said neither he nor his family were shareholders in any of the firms.
On Tuesday, AIADMK members trooped near the chairman's podium soon after the Rajya Sabha met at 11 am, raising slogans and demanding action.
Slogans like "arrest Chidambaram and his son", and "Take action against Chidambaram" echoed in the house as the chairman and deputy chairman tried to conduct the proceedings amid the protest.
Following the first uproar, minutes into the day's proceedings, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien adjourned the house for 10 minutes. When the house reassembled, Kurien announced that a notice by AIADMK has been rejected as it was not in order. While the AIADMK members kept raising slogans, a few zero hour mentions were read out by members.
Kurien also told the protesting members that it was not in his hands to take action.
"This is an issue the chair has nothing to do with. If you want action against a private individual you can approach the government. Why do you trouble me?" Kurien said.
However, as the din continued, the house was adjourned till 12 noon.
It was a similar scene in Lok Sabha, where AIADMK members raised slogans like “We want action”, “Aircel-Maxis why delay, why delay” and “NDA sarkar take action.”
The AIADMK members were displaying copies of an English daily which has claimed that Karti has invested in real estate across the world, as per investigations by the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities during searches at his premises.
Amid uproar, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan continued with the Question Hour for some time but adjourned the House for nearly ten minutes. Soon after the House was adjourned, AIADMK members were seen distributing copies of the newspaper to BJP members.
The members continued to create ruckus at question hour and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari tried to get a few questions answered even as AIADMK members raised slogans.
The furious chairman then said: "Chair gets this impression that some honourable members are in the business of promoting specific newspaper this is very improper." The house was then adjourned for 15 minutes.
As soon as Lok Sabha reassembled, AIADMK members again trooped into the Well continuing to raise slogans. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said if they give proper notice, the issue could be discussed in the House and the government was open to a debate.
At one point of time, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge stood up to raise some issue, apparently relating to Privilege notice against HRD Minister Smriti Irani over the Rohith Vemula suicide issue, but he was shouted down by the AIADMK members.
Gandhi was seen asking AIADMK members against raising slogans near Kharge. Some Left members were also seen standing on their seats seeking Speaker’s intervention.
Amid the din, the House was adjourned till 12 noon.
With protests continuing the house was then adjourned till 2 pm but protests continued even after the House met after lunch hour.
(with agency inputs)
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